Ultrathin-Walled 3D Inorganic Nanostructured Networks Templated from Cross-Linked Cellulose Nanocrystal Aerogels

Arto Hiltunen, Tyler Or, Kimmo Lahtonen, Harri Ali-Löytty, Nikolai Tkachenko, Mika Valden, Essi Sarlin, Emily D. Cranston, Jose M. Moran-Mirabal, Jaana Vapaavuori

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A key challenge in the development of materials for applications in the fields of opto- and nanoelectronics, catalysis, separation, and energy conversion is the ability to fabricate 3D inorganic semiconductive nanostructures in a precisely-controlled and cost-effective manner. This work describes the fabrication of 3D nanostructured TiO2 monoliths by coating ultraporous cross-linked cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) aerogel templates with TiO2 layers of controlled thickness via atomic layer deposition (ALD). Following calcination, the resulting hollow inorganic ultraporous 3D networks form the thinnest self-supporting semiconductive structure (7 nm) fabricated directly on a conductive substrate. The CNC-templated ALD–TiO2 electrodes are applied toward photoelectrochemical water splitting. The results show that a TiO2 coating as thin as 15 nm produces a maximum water splitting efficiency, resulting in materials savings and reduced fabrication time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2001181
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 3D network structure
  • atomic layer deposition
  • nanocellulose
  • templating
  • water splitting

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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