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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 685614, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/685614
Research Article

Au-TiO2 Nanocomposites and Efficient Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production under UV-Visible and Visible Light Illuminations: A Comparison of Different Crystalline Forms of TiO2

1Department of Chemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
2Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
3Environmental Materials Division, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Nehru Marg, Nagpur, Maharashtra 440020, India

Received 14 January 2013; Revised 5 March 2013; Accepted 11 March 2013

Academic Editor: Elias Stathatos

Copyright © 2013 Deepa Jose et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

nanocomposites were prepared by the solvated metal atom dispersion (SMAD) method, and the as-prepared samples were characterized by diffuse reflectance UV-visible spectroscopy, powder XRD, BET surface analysis measurements, and transmission electron microscopy bright field imaging. The particle size of the embedded Au nanoparticles ranged from 1 to 10 nm. These Au/TiO2 nanocomposites were used for photocatalytic hydrogen production in the presence of a sacrificial electron donor like ethanol or methanol under UV-visible and visible light illumination. These nanocomposites showed very good photocatalytic activity toward hydrogen production under UV-visible conditions, whereas under visible light illumination, there was considerably less hydrogen produced. Au/P25 gave a hydrogen evolution rate of 1600 μmol/h in the presence of ethanol (5 volume %) under UV-visible illumination. In the case of Au/TiO2 prepared by the SMAD method, the presence of Au nanoparticles serves two purposes: as an electron sink gathering electrons from the conduction band (CB) of TiO2 and as a reactive site for water/ethanol reduction to generate hydrogen gas. We also observed hydrogen production by water splitting in the absence of a sacrificial electron donor using Au/TiO2 nanocomposites under UV-visible illumination.