Photocatalytic reaction centers in two-dimensional titanium oxide crystals

Shintaro Ida, Namhoon Kim, Elif Ertekin, Sakae Takenaka, Tatsumi Ishihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Co-catalysts play an important role in photocatalytic water splitting. The co-catalyst is generally deposited in the form of nanoparticles on the catalyst surface, and is believed to provide water oxidation and reduction sites. However, the minimum size of a co-catalyst that can function as a reaction site and the detailed local environment of the photocatalytic reaction centers are not yet fully understood. Here, we show that even isolated single-atom Rh dopants in two-dimensional titanium oxide crystals can effectively act as co-catalysts for the water-splitting reaction. At an optimal doping concentration, the hydrogen production rate is increased substantially in comparison to that found with the undoped crystals. We also present first-principles simulations based on density functional theory to provide insights into the atomic-scale mechanism by which the isolated Rh dopants induce changes to the dissociation reaction energy landscape. These results provide new insights for better understanding the role of the co-catalyst in the photocatalytic reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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