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Harnessing Slow Light in Optoelectronically Engineered Nanoporous Photonic Crystals for Visible Light-Enhanced Photocatalysis

  • Siew Yee Lim
    Siew Yee Lim
    School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    More by Siew Yee Lim
  • Carina Hedrich
    Carina Hedrich
    Center for Hybrid Nanostructures, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Hamburg 22761, Germany
  • Lin Jiang
    Lin Jiang
    School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    More by Lin Jiang
  • Cheryl Suwen Law
    Cheryl Suwen Law
    School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
  • Manohar Chirumamilla
    Manohar Chirumamilla
    Institute of Optical and Electronic Materials, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Hamburg 21073, Germany
  • Andrew D. Abell
    Andrew D. Abell
    Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    Department of Chemistry, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
  • Robert H. Blick
    Robert H. Blick
    Center for Hybrid Nanostructures, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Hamburg 22761, Germany
  • Robert Zierold*
    Robert Zierold
    Center for Hybrid Nanostructures, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Hamburg 22761, Germany
    *Email: [email protected]
  • , and 
  • Abel Santos*
    Abel Santos
    School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    *Email: [email protected]
    More by Abel Santos
Cite this: ACS Catal. 2021, 11, 21, 12947–12962
Publication Date (Web):October 11, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.1c03320
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Spectrally tunable nanoporous anodic alumina distributed Bragg reflectors (NAA-DBRs) are modified with titanium dioxide (TiO2) coatings via atomic layer deposition and used as model optoelectronic platforms to harness slow light for photocatalysis under visible–NIR illumination. Photocatalytic breakdown of methylene blue (MB) with a visible absorbance band is used as a benchmark reaction to unveil the mechanism of slow light-enhanced photocatalysis in TiO2–NAA-DBRs with a tunable photonic stop band (PSB) and thickness of TiO2. Assessment of the optical arrangement between MB’s absorbance band and the PSB of TiO2–NAA-DBRs is used to identify and quantify slow light contributions in driving this model photocatalytic breakdown reaction. Our findings reveal that photodegradation rates rely on both the spectral position of PSB and thickness of the semiconductor. The performance of these photocatalysts is the maximum when the red edge of the PSB is spectrally close to the red or blue boundary of the MB’s absorbance band and to dramatically decrease within the absorbance maximum of MB due to light screening by dye molecules. It is also demonstrated that TiO2–NAA-DBRs featuring thicker photoactive TiO2 layers can harvest more efficiently incident slow light by generating extra pairs of charge carriers on the semiconductor coating’s surface. The crystallographic phase of TiO2 in the functional coatings is found to be critical in determining the performance of these model photocatalyst platforms, where the anatase phase provides ∼69% higher performance over its amorphous TiO2 form. This study provides opportunities toward the development of energy-efficient photocatalysts for environmental remediation and energy generation and other optoelectronic applications.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acscatal.1c03320.

    • Absorbance spectrum of MB molecules, calibration line correlating MB concentration and absorbance intensity, STPA profiles used to fabricate NAA-DBRs with varying anodization period (TP), transmission spectra of TiO2–NAA-DBRs produced with varying TiO2 thickness (tTiO2) and TP in air and water, dependence of the central position of characteristic PSB with tTiO2 and TP of TiO2–NAA-DBRs in air and water, spectrum of simulated solar light irradiation used in our study, summary of photocatalytic performance and red edge of characteristic PSB of TiO2–NAA-DBRs as a function of tTiO2 and TP, measurement data and analysis of the optical spectroscopic ellipsometry, and Gaussian fittings and values of the absorbance band of MB over illumination time (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 16 publications.

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