Transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) has been used to study the interfacial electron-transfer reaction between photogenerated electrons in nanocrystalline titanium dioxide (TiO2) films and molecular oxygen. TiO2 films from three different starting materials (TiO2 anatase colloidal paste and commercial anatase/rutile powders Degussa TiO2 P25 and VP TiO2 P90) have been investigated in the presence of ethanol as a hole scavenger. Separate investigations on the photocatalytic oxygen consumption by the films have also been performed with an oxygen membrane polarographic detector. Results show that a correlation exists between the electron dynamics of oxygen consumption observed by TAS and the rate of oxygen consumption through the photocatalytic process. The highest activity and the fastest oxygen reduction dynamics were observed with films fabricated from anatase TiO2 colloidal paste. The use of TAS as a tool for the prediction of the photocatalytic activities of the materials is discussed. TAS studies indicate that the rate of reduction of molecular oxygen is limited by interfacial electron-transfer kinetics rather than by the electron trapping/detrapping dynamics within the TiO2 particles.
- resolved infrared-absorption
- charge-carrier dynamics
- electron paramagnetic resonance
- small semiconductor particles
- photocatalytic oxidation
- recombination dynamics
- titanium dioxide