Spatial Heterojunction in Nanostructured TiO2 and Its Cascade Effect for Efficient Photocatalysis

Yi Lu, Xiao Long Liu, Li He, Yue Xing Zhang, Zhi Yi Hu, Ge Tian, Xiu Cheng, Si Ming Wu, Yuan Zhou Li, Xiao Hang Yang, Li Ying Wang, Jia Wen Liu, Christoph Janiak, Gang Gang Chang, Wei Hua Li, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Xiao Yu Yang, Bao Lian Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A highly efficient photoenergy conversion is strongly dependent on the cumulative cascade efficiency of the photogenerated carriers. Spatial heterojunctions are critical to directed charge transfer and, thus, attractive but still a challenge. Here, a spatially ternary titanium-defected TiO2@carbon quantum dots@reduced graphene oxide (denoted as VTi@CQDs@rGO) in one system is shown to demonstrate a cascade effect of charges and significant performances regarding the photocurrent, the apparent quantum yield, and photocatalysis such as H2 production from water splitting and CO2 reduction. A key aspect in the construction is the technologically irrational junction of Ti-vacancies and nanocarbons for the spatially inside-out heterojunction. The new "spatial heterojunctions" concept, characteristics, mechanism, and extension are proposed at an atomic-/nanoscale to clarify the generation of rational heterojunctions as well as the cascade electron transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3122-3129
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


  • carbon dioxide reduction
  • cascade effect
  • seawater splitting
  • spatial heterojunction
  • Ti-vacancy

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