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Surface-bound sacrificial electron donors in promoting photocatalytic reduction on titania nanocrystals


Titania nanocrystals have been investigated for fast color switching through photocatalytic reduction of dyes and hexacyanometalate pigments. Here we reveal that direct binding of sacrificial electron donors (SEDs) to the surface of titania nanocrystals can significantly promote the charge transfer rate by more efficiently scavenging photogenerated holes and releasing more photogenerated electrons for reduction reactions. Using diethylene glycol (DEG) as an example, we show that its binding to the nanoparticle surface, which can be achieved either during or after the nanoparticle formation, greatly enhances the photocatalytic reduction in comparison with the case where free DEG molecules are simply added as external SEDs.

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