Ni-Nanocluster Modified Black TiO2 with Dual Active Sites for Selective Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction

Tadesse Billo, Fang Yu Fu, Putikam Raghunath, Indrajit Shown*, Wei Fu Chen, Hsiang Ting Lien, Tzu Hsien Shen, Jyh Fu Lee, Ting Shan Chan, Kuo You Huang, Chih I. Wu, Ming-Chang Lin, Jih Shang Hwang, Chih Hao Lee, Li Chyong Chen, Kuei Hsien Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


One of the key challenges in artificial photosynthesis is to design a photocatalyst that can bind and activate the CO2 molecule with the smallest possible activation energy and produce selective hydrocarbon products. In this contribution, a combined experimental and computational study on Ni-nanocluster loaded black TiO2 (Ni/TiO2[Vo]) with built-in dual active sites for selective photocatalytic CO2 conversion is reported. The findings reveal that the synergistic effects of deliberately induced Ni nanoclusters and oxygen vacancies provide (1) energetically stable CO2 binding sites with the lowest activation energy (0.08 eV), (2) highly reactive sites, (3) a fast electron transfer pathway, and (4) enhanced light harvesting by lowering the bandgap. The Ni/TiO2[Vo] photocatalyst has demonstrated highly selective and enhanced photocatalytic activity of more than 18 times higher solar fuel production than the commercial TiO2 (P-25). An insight into the mechanisms of interfacial charge transfer and product formation is explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1702928
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2018


  • artificial photosynthesis
  • black TiO
  • photocatalytic CO reduction
  • solar fuels

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