Photocatalytic activity of nitrogen-doped TiO2-based nanowires: A photo-assisted Kelvin probe force microscopy study

Ming Chung Wu, Hsueh Chung Liao, Yu Cheng Cho, Che Pu Hsu, Ting Han Lin, Wei Fang Su, András Sápi, Ákos Kukovecz, Zoltán Kónya, Andrey Shchukarev, Anjana Sarkar, William Larsson, Jyri Pekka Mikkola, Melinda Mohl, Géza Tóth, Heli Jantunen, Anna Valtanen, Mika Huuhtanen, Riitta L. Keiski, Krisztián Kordás

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11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a set of nitrogen-doped TiO2-based nanomaterials demonstrating photocatalytic activity was developed by combining the efforts of lattice doping and metal nanoparticle decoration and tested for photo-degradation of methylene blue dye by applying solar simulator irradiation. The surface potential shifts of these TiO2-based photocatalytic nanomaterials measured by Kelvin probe force microscope have been used to study the degree of electron generation of the photocatalysts after irradiation and were well correlated with the photocatalytic activity. The nitrogen-doped TiO2 nanowires decorated with Pt nanoparticles can induce obvious electron accumulation and result in a large shift of surface potential. The analysis shows a clear correlation between the surface potential shift and the photodegradation activity. Furthermore, a thorough comparative photocatalytic activity study combined with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis of the materials - doped with nitrogen under various conditions - reveals that the photocatalytic efficiency of the catalysts is maintained even if the lattice doping is leached e.g., by thermal treatments after doping. Graphical Abstract: By monitoring the surface potential shifts of various TiO2-based photocatalysts by photo-assisted Kelvin probe force microscopy, we obtain a useful tool for developing novel materials with high photocatalytic activity.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number2143
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Kelvin probe force microscopy
  • Nanostructured catalyst
  • Photocatalyst
  • Photodegradation
  • Surface potential
  • TiO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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  • Cite this

    Wu, M. C., Liao, H. C., Cho, Y. C., Hsu, C. P., Lin, T. H., Su, W. F., Sápi, A., Kukovecz, Á., Kónya, Z., Shchukarev, A., Sarkar, A., Larsson, W., Mikkola, J. P., Mohl, M., Tóth, G., Jantunen, H., Valtanen, A., Huuhtanen, M., Keiski, R. L., & Kordás, K. (2014). Photocatalytic activity of nitrogen-doped TiO2-based nanowires: A photo-assisted Kelvin probe force microscopy study. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 16(1), [2143].