A novel 2D nanomaterial, high aspect ratio TiO2 nanoflakes were synthesized by a one-step method. Surface morphology and physical dimensions were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Laser Diffraction technology, and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Micro-sized flakes having a thickness approximately 40 nm were successfully synthesized by spreading a mixture of titanium alkoxide and hydrocarbon on the water surface. Relatively higher specific surface area (2–6 times) and less crystal defects enhanced photocatalytic activities of nanoflakes due to more surface reaction sites. By performing dye degradation under ultraviolet (UV) illumination, titania nanoflakes exhibited the higher photocatalytic efficiency over the commercial photocatalyst, Degussa P25. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time to continuously synthesize low-dimensional nanomaterials in an efficient and cost effective manner. In practical water purification, traditional separation processes such as sedimentation or filtration could be utilized to easily extract the titania flakes from the treated water. Other applications such as anode material for lithium ion batteries and conducting paste in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) were also investigated. The cycling performance of Li-ion battery and energy conversion efficiency of DSSC were significantly improved.
Part of the book: Titanium Dioxide