Nano-Micro Letters

Ferroelectric Oxide Nanocomposites with Trimodal Pore Structure for High Photocatalytic Performance

Tingting Xu1, Xuan Liu1, *, Shulan Wang1, *, Li Li2, *

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2019) 11: 37

First Online: 4 May 2019 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: (Xuan Liu); (Shulan Wang); (Li Li)





An effective method to improve the photocatalytic performances of powder catalysts is to use the internal electric field from ferroelectrics to separate photo-generated charge carriers. Moreover, the design and engineering of a complex hetero-junction with a hierarchical pore structure is highly desirable for the efficient application of ferroelectric materials in photocatalysis. Here, we present a novel strategy using two templates to fabricate PbTiO3/TiO2/carbon (PTC) nanocomposites with a tunable microstructure. A hard SiO2 template combined with an ice template followed by an appropriate pyrolysis procedure introduced trimodal (micro-, meso-, macro-) porosity. The as-prepared PTC nanocomposites with optimal mass ratio exhibited excellent photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical performances. PbTiO3/TiO2 annealed at 900 °C (PTC-900) showed a MB degradation rate of 0.21 and 0.021 min−1 under UV and visible light irradiation, which are, respectively, 7.2 and 3 times those of pure PbTiO3. The photocurrent density of the composite catalyst is 1.48 mA cm-2 at the potential of 1.0 V vs. saturated calomel electrode and the rates of hydrogen generation of PTC-900 are as high as 2360 and 9.6 μmol h-1 g-1 under UV and visible light irradiation; these values are much higher than those observed for P25 and pure PbTiO3. More importantly, the simultaneous application of ultrasound-induced mechanical waves further improved the photocatalytic reactivity. This work serves to improve our understanding on the design of ferroelectric/piezoelectric photocatalysts with a hierarchical pore structure and also proposes a widely applicable strategy for the fabrication of high-performance micro-nano/nano-nano structures.



Ferroelectric photocatalysis; Piezoelectric; Hierarchical pores; Photocatalytic hydrogen production; Triple-junction

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