Black Nb2O5 nanorods with improved solar absorption and enhanced photocatalytic activity

Wenli Zhao, Wei Zhao, Guilian Zhu, Tianquan Lin, Fangfang Xu, Fuqiang Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Black titania, with greatly improved solar absorption, has demonstrated its effectiveness in photocatalysis and photoelectrochemical cells (PEC), inspiring us to explore the blackening of other wide band-gap oxide materials for enhanced performance. Herein, we report the fabrication of black, reduced Nb2O5 nanorods (r-Nb2O5), with active exposed (001) surfaces, and their enhanced photocatalytic and PEC properties. Black r-Nb2O5 nanorods were obtained via reduction of pristine Nb2O5 by molten aluminum in a two-zone furnace. Unlike the black titania, r-Nb2O5 nanorods are well-crystallized, without a core-shell structure, which makes them outstanding in photocatalytic stability. Substantial Nb4+ cation and oxygen vacancies (VO) were introduced into r-Nb2O5, resulting in the enhanced absorption in both the visible and near-infrared regions and improved charge separation and transport capability. The advantage of the r-Nb2O5 was also proved by its more efficient photoelectrochemical performance (138 times at 1.23 VRHE) and higher photocatalytic hydrogen-generation activity (13 times) than pristine Nb2O5. These results indicate that black r-Nb2O5 is a promising material for PEC application and photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3888-3894
Number of pages7
JournalDalton transactions
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry


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