Abstract A unique Cu2O/TiO2 nanocomposite with high photocatalytic activity was synthesized via a two-step chemical solution method and used for the photocatalytic degradation of organic dye. The structure, morphology, composition, optical and photocatalytic properties of the as-prepared samples were investigated in detail. The results suggested that the Cu2O/TiO2 nanocomposite is composed of hierarchical TiO2 hollow microstructure coated by a great many Cu2O nanoparticles. The photocatalytic performance of Cu2O/TiO2 nanocomposite was evaluated by the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) under visible light, and compared with those of the pure TiO2 and Cu2O photocatalysts synthesized by the identical synthetic route. Within 120min of reaction time, nearly 100% decolorization efficiency of MB was achieved by Cu2O/TiO2 photocatalyst, which is much higher than that of pure TiO2 (26%) or Cu2O (32%). The outstanding photocatalytic efficiency was mainly ascribed to the unique architecture, the extended photoresponse range and efficient separation of the electron-hole pairs in the Cu2O/TiO2 heterojunction. In addition, the Cu2O/TiO2 nanocomposite also retains good cycling stability in the photodegradation of MB.
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