Background: Despite recent advances in the construction of graphene/TiO2 hybrids with
tunable structure and morphology, the synthesis of graphene/beta TiO2 nanocomposites with welldefined
morphology remains a challenge.
Objective: We report for the first time a novel array structure consisting of porous ultrathin beta TiO2
nanosheets grown on few-layer graphene.
Method: Pristine few-layer graphene (FLG) was first effectively exfoliated and dispersed in ethylene
glycol. Then porous beta TiO2 nanosheets were synthesized via one-step thermal hydrolysis of TiCl3,
grown vertically on the surface of FLG stabilized by ethylene glycol at 150°C for 3 h.
Results: The morphology and microstructure of these resulting graphene/beta TiO2 nanocomposites
were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning and transmission
electron microscopy, and N2 adsorption/desorption. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy
(HRTEM) and N2 adsorption/desorption measurements illustrated the formation of mesopores with
mean diameter of 3.8 nm in these TiO2 (B) nanosheets. XRD revealed that the presence of FLG played
a significant role in inhibiting the phase transformation of beta TiO2 to anatase during annealing at
300ºC for 1 h in air which otherwise occurs rapidly without FLG.
Conclusion: In summary, we have presented a simple approach to synthesize graphene/porous beta
TiO2 nanocomposites with tunable morphology. It is expected that this novel structure would be an
interesting photocatalyst for the conversion of solar energy to chemical fuels.