The photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) makes these materials promising candidates for a variety of applications, including photocatalytic degradation, water splitting and biomedical devices. The large band gap of TiO2 (anatase ∼3.2 eV; rutile ∼ 3.0 eV) requires excitation with UV light, which accounts for only a small fraction of solar light. In order to increase the light absorption in the visible region, reduction of the band gap is required. Here, TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) were fabricated by electrochemical anodization of Ti foil. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) were used to determine morphology, crystal structure and surface composition of the TiO2 NTs. Different synthesis conditions influenced TiO2 NTs properties that allowed the tuning of the band gap. UV-Vis analysis of 61.54 µm long NTs showed light absorption over the whole visible range, while NTs with the length up to 0.21 µm are able to absorb only UV light. 61.54 µm long NTs exhibited band tailing up to 1.43 eV.

Graphical Abstract

Visible light responsive TiO2 nanotubes synthesized by electrochemical anodization method