The face-to-face contact of a vertical heterojunction is beneficial to charge interaction in photocatalysis. However, constructing a vertical heterojunction with uncompromised redox ability still remains a challenge. Herein, we report the successful synthesis of a WO3-TiO2 vertical heterojunction via establishing an internal electric field across the interface. Experimental investigation and computational simulations reveal that strong electric coupling occurs at the WO3-TiO2 interface forming an internal electric field. The internal electric field induces a Z-scheme charge-carrier transfer through the heterojunction under light irradiation, which leads to effective charge separation and maintains high reaction potentials of charge-carriers. The improved photocatalytic activity of the WO3-TiO2 heterojunction is proved by enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species and accelerated Escherichia coli (E. coli) disinfection. This study provides new insights into understanding and designing Z-scheme heterogeneous photocatalysts.
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Georg Ramm (Manager), Simon Andrew Crawford (Operator), Hariprasad Venugopal (Operator), Joan Marea Clark (Operator) & Gediminas Gervinskas (Operator)Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Research Platforms