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Highly efficient low-temperature N-doped TiO2 catalysts for visible light photocatalytic applications

  • Mahy, Julien G
  • Cerfontaine, Vincent
  • Poelman, Dirk
  • Devred, François
  • Gaigneaux, Eric M
  • Heinrichs, Benoit
  • Lambert, Stephanie D
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
DOI: 10.3390/ma11040584
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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In this paper, TiO2 prepared with an aqueous sol-gel synthesis by peptization process is doped with nitrogen precursor to extend its activity towards the visible region. Three N-precursors are used: urea, ethylenediamine and triethylamine. Different molar N/Ti ratios are tested and the synthesis is adapted for each dopant. For urea-and trimethylamine-doped samples, anatase-brookite TiO2 nanoparticles of 6-8 nm are formed, with a specific surface area between 200 and 275 m(2)-g(-1). In ethylenediamine-doped samples, the formation of rutile phase is observed, and TiO2 nanoparticles of 6-8 nm with a specific surface area between 185 and 240 m(2).g(-1) are obtained. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and diffuse reflectance measurements show the incorporation of nitrogen in TiO2 materials through Ti-O-N bonds allowing light absorption in the visible region. Photocatalytic tests on the remediation of water polluted with p-nitrophenol show a marked improvement for all doped catalysts under visible light. The optimum doping, taking into account cost, activity and ease of synthesis, is up-scaled to a volume of 5 L and compared to commercial Degussa P25 material. This up-scaled sample shows similar properties compared to the lab-scale sample, i.e., a photoactivity 4 times higher than commercial P25.

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