The band gap energy of the TiO2 photocatalytic is high at 3.2 eV. Ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation (<388nm) is required for the photocatalytic application. The lowering the band gap energy of TiO2 and enlarging light absorbing area are effective ways to enhance the efficiency of photocatalytic activity. Furthermore, the morphology and crystal structure of nanosized TiO2 considerably influences its photocatalytic behavior.
In this study, sodium titanate nanorods were formed using an alkali-treatment and were heat treated at different temperatures. The photoelectrochemical properties of sodium titanate nanorods was measured as a function of heat treatment temperature. The nanorods were prepared on the surface of Ti disk with a diameter of 15mm and a thickness of 3mm. Ti disk was immersed in 5 M NaOH aqueous solution at a temperature of 60 °C for 24 h. Morphology of sodium titanate nanorods was observed using FE-SEM. Crystal structure of sodium titanate nanorods was analyzed using X-ray diffractometer. Photoluminescence (PL) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used to evaluate photoelectrochemical properties of sodium titanate nanorods. The thin amorphous sodium titanate layer was formed during alkali-treatment. The sodium titanate layer was changed to nanorods after heat treatment at a temperature of 700 °C. The thickness and length of sodium titanate nanorods obtained at 700 °C were around 100 nm and 1μm, respectively. The crystal structure of sodium titanate was identified with Na2Ti6O13. Above 900 °C, the morphology of nanorods changed to agglomerated shape and the thickness of nanorods increased to 1 μm. The lowest value of PL was obtained at a temperature of 700 °C, while nonalkali treated specimen showed the highest value of PL. EIS revealed that polarization resistance at interface between sodium titanate nanorods and electrolyte was increased with increasing heat treatment temperature.