DOI: 10.1002/smll.202401116 ISSN: 1613-6810

Defect Engineering Centrosymmetric 2D Material Flexocatalysts

Yu‐Ching Chen, Po‐Han Chen, Yin‐Song Liao, Jyh‐Pin Chou, Jyh Ming Wu
  • Biomaterials
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry


In this study, the flexoelectric characteristics of 2D TiO2 nanosheets are examined. The theoretical calculations and experimental results reveal an excellent strain‐induced flexoelectric potential (flexopotential) by an effective defect engineering strategy, which suppresses the recombination of electron–hole pairs, thus substantially improving the catalytic activity of the TiO2 nanosheets in the degradation of Rhodamine B dye and the hydrogen evolution reaction in a dark environment. The results indicate that strain‐induced bandgap reduction enhances the catalytic activity of the TiO2 nanosheets. In addition, the TiO2 nanosheets degraded Rhodamine B, with kobs being ≈1.5 × 10−2 min−1 in dark, while TiO2 nanoparticles show only an adsorption effect. 2D TiO2 nanosheets achieve a hydrogen production rate of 137.9 µmol g−1 h−1 under a dark environment, 197% higher than those of TiO2 nanoparticles (70.1 µmol g−1 h−1). The flexopotential of the TiO2 nanosheets is enhanced by increasing the bending moment, with excellent flexopotential along the y‐axis. Density functional theory is used to identify the stress‐induced bandgap reduction and oxygen vacancy formation, which results in the self‐dissociation of H2O on the surface of the TiO in the dark. The present findings provide novel insights into the role of TiO2 flexocatalysis in electrochemical reactions.

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