Mesoporous TiO2 Embedded with a Uniform Distribution of CuO Exhibit Enhanced Charge Separation and Photocatalytic Efficiency
Mixed metal oxide nanoparticles have interesting physical and chemical properties, but synthesizing them with colloidal methods is still challenging and often results in very heterogeneous structures. Here, we describe a simple method to synthesize mesoporous titania nanoparticles implanted with a uniform distribution of copper oxide nanocrystals (CuO@MTs). By calcining a titanium-based metal-organic framework (MIL-125) in the presence of Cu ions, we can trap the Cu in the TiO 2 matrix. Removal of the organic ligand creates mesoporosity and limits phase separation so that tiny CuO nanocrystals form in the interstices of the TiO 2 . The CuO@MTs exhibits superior performance for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution (4760 μmol h -1 ) that is > 90 times larger than pristine titania.