In Situ Grown TiO2 Nanospindles Facilitate the Formation of Holey Reduced Graphene Oxide by Photodegradation

Guiming Peng, James E. Ellis, Gang Xu, Xueqing Xu, Alexander Star

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanostructures and TiO2/graphene nanocomposites are intensively studied materials for energy conversion, energy storage, and organic contaminant photodegradation. However, for TiO2/graphene composites, impermeability across the graphitic basal plane for electrolytes, metal ions, and gas molecules hinders their practical applications. Herein we report a simple, environmentally friendly synthetic route for mesoporous anatase TiO2 nanospindles, and successfully apply this method to obtain in situ grown TiO2 nanospindles/graphene oxide composite. After a thermal reduction at 400 °C, holes are created in the reduced graphene oxide (RGO) sheets through a photocatalytic oxidation mechanism. The formation of holes in RGO is promoted by photogenerated hydroxyl radicals that oxidize and subsequently decarboxylate the graphitic surface of RGO. The proposed mechanism was supported by photocatalytic electrochemical properties of the nanomaterials. The resulting TiO2/holey RGO composites may overcome the original impermeability of graphene sheets and find applications in catalysis, energy conversion/storage devices, and sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7403-7410
Number of pages8
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon nanotubes
  • catalysis
  • graphene
  • oxidation
  • oxygen reduction reaction
  • titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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