H. P. Duong, T. Mashiyama, M. Kobayashi, A. Iwase, A. Kudo, M. Kakihana, H. Kato, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 252, 222–229 (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.04.009
Microspherical particles of Rh-doped SrTiO3 (SrTiO3:Rh) having size of 1–2 μm were synthesized by a spray drying (SD) method employing a water-soluble ammonium trilactatotitanate. When the calcination temperature increased up to 1200 °C, primary particles grew significantly while the microspherical morphology of the secondary particles was kept. Dynamic light scattering analysis proved well-dispersive nature of the SD sample. Photocatalytic activities of SrTiOb:Rh synthesized by the SD method, solid state reaction (SSR), and a polymerizable complex (PC) method were evaluated for H2 evolution using an electron donor such as methanol, Fe2+, or [Co(bpy)3]2+ and Z-scheme water splitting combined with BiVO4 of an O2- evolving photocatalyst and either Fe3+/2+, [Co(bpy)3]3+/2+, or reduced graphene oxide as an electron mediator. SrTiO3:Rh prepared by the SD method showed much higher activities for all Z-scheme water splitting than the samples synthesized by the SSR method. Activities of the SD sample for Z-scheme water splitting using electron shuttles, Fe3+/2+ and [Co(bpy)3]3+/2+, were slightly higher or comparable to those of the PC sample whereas the SD sample achieved higher activity in Z-scheme water splitting based on interparticle electron transfer. In addition, even when the mass of SrTiO3:Rh used for the Z-scheme system with Fe3+/2+ was decreased from 50 mg to 30 mg, the SD sample still showed high activity while the activity decreased for the SSR and PC samples. Thus, usefulness of the SD method to obtain highly active SrTiO3:Rh with well-dispersive nature has been demonstrated.