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Tailoring Composition and Material Distribution in Multicomponent Cryoaerogels for Application in Photocatalysis

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journal contribution
posted on 26.10.2018, 17:21 by Axel Freytag, Carsten Günnemann, Suraj Naskar, Saher Hamid, Franziska Lübkemann, Detlef Bahnemann, Nadja C. Bigall
In this article, we demonstrate the fabrication of tailored multicomponent cryoaerogels from colloidal nanoparticles via the cryogelation method. With this method, it is possible to control the amount of components very precisely. Furthermore, the microscopic distribution of the different nanoparticle components in the resulting monolithic structure is shown to be adjustable by simply mixing calculated amounts of colloidal nanoparticle solutions with a suitable surface charge. We focus on titania cryoaerogels due to their potential for optical applications and investigate the properties of synthesized titania-gold cryoaerogels in dependency of the composition. In addition, titania-platinum cryoaerogels were tested for photocatalytic applications such as hydrogen evolution and showed a significant increase in performance and stability compared to their respective colloidal solutions. While showing comparable results for hydrogen evolution with aerogels as reported in literature, the fabrication is much faster and less complex and therefore might enable future industrial application.