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Nanoscale Optimization and Statistical Modeling of Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Efficiency of N-Doped TiO2 Nanotubes

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Abstract

Highly ordered nitrogen-doped titanium dioxide (N-doped TiO2) nanotube array films with enhanced photo-electrochemical water splitting efficiency (PCE) for hydrogen generation were fabricated by electrochemical anodization, followed by annealing in a nitrogen atmosphere. Morphology, structure and composition of the N-doped TiO2 nanotube array films were investigated by FE-SEM, XPS, UV–Vis and XRD. The effect of annealing temperature, heating rate and annealing time on the morphology, structure, and photo-electrochemical property of the N-doped TiO2 nanotube array films were investigated. A design of experiments method was applied in order to minimize the number of experiments and obtain a statistical model for this system. From the modelling results, optimum values for the influential factors were obtained in order to achieve the maximum PCE. The optimized experiment resulted in 7.42 % PCE which was within 95 % confidence interval of the predicted value by the model.

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Acknowledgments

The financial support from NSERC and the Western University, London, Ontario are gratefully acknowledged. The authors also thank the Surface Science Western for excellent contribution on the characterization, Mr. Chris Van deLaar of Western University machine services for his brilliant idea on equipment design.

Author information

Correspondence to Sohrab Rohani or Ajay K. Ray.

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Isimjan, T.T., Trifkovic, M., Abdullahi, I. et al. Nanoscale Optimization and Statistical Modeling of Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Efficiency of N-Doped TiO2 Nanotubes. Top Catal 58, 114–122 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-014-0350-0

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Keywords

  • TiO2 nanotubes
  • Photoelectrochemical water splitting efficiency (PCE)
  • UV irradiation
  • Anodization
  • Design of experiments (DOE)
  • Optimization