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Cu and Pt clusters deposition on TiO2 powders by DC magnetron sputtering for photocatalytic hydrogen production

Bernareggi, M and Chiarello, GL and West, G and Ratova, Marina and Ferretti, AM and Kelly, P and Selli, E (2018) Cu and Pt clusters deposition on TiO2 powders by DC magnetron sputtering for photocatalytic hydrogen production. Catalysis Today, 326. pp. 15-21. ISSN 0920-5861

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Abstract

Titanium dioxide-based photocatalyst powders were obtained by deposition of copper and/or platinum clusters by means of pulsed direct current magnetron sputtering with different deposition times and plasma composition during Cu/Pt sputtering. A top-down configuration was employed with the sputtering source facing the powder holder mounted on a shaker mechanism, which continuously mixed the powder during the sputtering process. HRTEM analyses revealed the presence of well dispersed, subnanometric sized metal clusters, even for long deposition times, while XRPD analysis showed no modification of the TiO2crystal structure upon metal deposition. The so obtained powders were tested as photocatalysts in methanol photo-steam reforming for hydrogen production. The presence of Pt clusters increased the photoactivity with respect to that of bare TiO2. The plasma composition during Cu sputtering was found to strongly affect the photoactivity of the obtained materials, Cu alone deposited as co-catalyst in an Ar-only atmosphere imparting better photoactivity than Cu sputtered in Ar/O2. When the deposition of Cu clusters was coupled with the deposition of Pt clusters, an additive effect of the two metals in increasing TiO2photoactivity was observed if Cu clusters were sputtered in the absence of oxygen.

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