Photocatalytic reaction centers in two-dimensional titanium oxide crystals

Shintaro Ida, Namhoon Kim, Elif Ertekin, Sakae Takenaka, Tatsumi Ishihara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    154 Citations (Scopus)


    Co-catalysts play an important role in photocatalytic water splitting. The co-catalyst is generally deposited in the form of nanoparticles on the catalyst surface, and is believed to provide water oxidation and reduction sites. However, the minimum size of a co-catalyst that can function as a reaction site and the detailed local environment of the photocatalytic reaction centers are not yet fully understood. Here, we show that even isolated single-atom Rh dopants in two-dimensional titanium oxide crystals can effectively act as co-catalysts for the water-splitting reaction. At an optimal doping concentration, the hydrogen production rate is increased substantially in comparison to that found with the undoped crystals. We also present first-principles simulations based on density functional theory to provide insights into the atomic-scale mechanism by which the isolated Rh dopants induce changes to the dissociation reaction energy landscape. These results provide new insights for better understanding the role of the co-catalyst in the photocatalytic reaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-244
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Catalysis
    • General Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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