Kinetics of the photocatalytic water-splitting reaction on TiO2 and Pt/tiO2 studied by time-resolved infrared absorption spectroscopy

Akira Yamakata, Taka Aki Ishibashi, Hiroshi Onishi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


The present account describes how the water-splitting reaction on TiO2 (P-25) and Pt/TiO2 catalysts is traced by time-resolved infrared (IR) absorption spectroscopy. The ac-coupled amplification of the IR signal allows detection of transient absorbance-change as small as 10-6 with a time-resolution of 50 ns. The TiO2 or Pt/TiO2 catalyst irradiated by a 355 nm UV-pulse at time = 0 presents a transient IR absorption which monotonically increases in intensity with decreasing wavenumber from 3000 to 1000 cm-1. Photogenerated electrons trapped in shallow mid-gap states are proposed to cause the absorption. The decay kinetics of the electrons traced by monitoring the IR absorbance at 2000 cm-1 is sensitive to vapor atmospheres. The electrons recombine with the complementary holes along a multi-exponential rate law in the catalysts placed in a vacuum. Dioxygen arriving from the gas-phase captures the electrons at delay time of 10-100 μs following the UV irradiation. In the presence of water vapor, holes in the TiO2 catalyst are captured by an adsorbed reactant (probably hydroxyl species) within 2 μs and the recombination is obstructed thereafter. The excess electrons cannot transfer to another adsorbate to be reduced (probably proton) and hence reduce the catalyst itself. On the Pt/TiO2 catalyst exposed to water, the electron transfer takes place at 10 μs or later, following the hole transfer completed within 2 μs. The hole transfer on Pt/TiO2 is insensitive to the pressure of water vapor whereas the rate of the electron transfer is enhanced with the increasing pressure at 1-10 Torr. Transient response of an adsorbate vibration is also observed. The O-H stretching band of an adsorbed hydroxyl species at 3677 cm-1 thermally shifted to the low-wavenumber side, when the TiO2 catalyst is irradiated by the UV-pulse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Infrared absorption
  • Photocatalyst
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Titanium oxide
  • Water-splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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