Science China Materials

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 869–877 | Cite as

A simple green approach to synthesis of sub-100 nm carbon spheres as template for TiO2 hollow nanospheres with enhanced photocatalytic activities

  • Yubo Tan (谭余波)
  • Maochang Liu (刘茂昌)
  • Daixing Wei (魏代星)
  • Heming Tang (唐鹤鸣)
  • Xinjian Feng (封心建)Email author
  • Shaohua Shen (沈少华)Email author


Carbon spheres (CSs) have attracted great attention given their wide applications in bio-diagnostics, photonic band-gap crystals and drug delivery, etc. The morphology and size of CSs greatly affect their performances and applications. Herein, we report a green and catalyst-free hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) method to synthesize CSs with glucose as carbon precursor. The diameter of CSs can be tuned within a wide range from 450 to 40 nm by controlling the glucose concentration, reaction time and temperature. Using the obtained CSs as template, hollow TiO2 nanospheres (HTNSs) with controllable diameters are prepared via a sol-gel method. As photocatalysts for hydrogen generation, the photoactivity of the HTNSs shows strong dependence upon size, and is much higher than that of solid TiO2. With particle size decreasing, the photoactivity of the obtained HTNSs gradually increases. Without any co-catalyst, the highest photocatalytic hydrogen generation activity is obtained with HTNSs of 40 nm in diameter, which exceeds that of solid TiO2 and commercial P25 by 64 times and 3 times, respectively.


carbon nanospheres hydrothermal carbonization hollow titanium dioxide nanospheres photocatalytic hydrogen production 

直径小于100 nm空心二氧化钛纳米球的简单绿色可控合成及其光催化产氢性能研究


碳球(CSs)因其在生物诊断、 光子带隙晶体及药物输送等方面的广泛应用而成为该领域的研究热点, 而这些应用与碳球自身的形貌及尺寸息息相关. 在此, 我们实现了无任何催化剂及表面活性剂的情况下, 以葡萄糖为前驱体, 通过水热法成功制备形貌规整的碳球. 同时, 通过控制葡萄糖的浓度、 反应时间和温度, 实现碳球尺寸在40–450 nm的可控调节. 进一步地我们以不同粒径的碳球为模板, 通过溶胶-凝胶法合成了不同粒径的中空二氧化钛纳米球(HTNSs), 并以其为催化剂进行光催化产氢实验. 结果表明, HTNSs的光催化活性与粒径有着紧密联系, 随着粒径的减小, 光催化活性得到显著增强. 同时, 不同尺寸HTNSs的光催化活性都远高于同样方法合成的实心二氧化钛纳米颗粒, 尤其是直径为40 nm的HTNSs的产氢量, 分别达到了实心二氧化钛颗粒及商业P25的64倍和3倍.



The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51672210, 51323011 and 51236007), and the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (2014KW07-02). Shen S was supported by the Foundation for the Author of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of China (201335), the National Program for Support of Top-notch Young Professionals and the “Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities”.

Supplementary material

40843_2017_9183_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1001 kb)
A simple green approach to synthesis of sub-100 nm carbon spheres as template for TiO2 hollow nanospheres with enhanced photocatalytic activities


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yubo Tan (谭余波)
    • 1
  • Maochang Liu (刘茂昌)
    • 1
  • Daixing Wei (魏代星)
    • 1
  • Heming Tang (唐鹤鸣)
    • 2
  • Xinjian Feng (封心建)
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shaohua Shen (沈少华)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.International Research Center for Renewable Energy, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina

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