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Simple Ethanol Impregnation Treatment Can Enhance Photocatalytic Activity of TiO2 Nanoparticles under Visible-Light Irradiation

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posted on 2015-04-15, 00:00 authored by Lina Kong, Zhiqiang Jiang, Changhua Wang, Fangxu Wan, Yingying Li, Liangzhuan Wu, Jin-Fang Zhi, Xintong Zhang, Shijian Chen, Yichun Liu
Doping with impurities as well as introducing oxygen vacancies has been recognized as an important means to enhance photocatalytic activity of TiO2 under visible-light irradiation. Here we report that simple ethanol impregnation followed with mild heat treatment (150–400 °C) can color TiO2 nanoparticles and enhance visible-light photocatalytic activity of the material. The coloration and photocatalytic activity for β-naphthol and rhodamine B (RhB) degradation were observed to be dependent on heat-treatment temperature, and the highest activity as well as the most coloration was obtained at temperatures around 200 to 250 °C. Comprehensive analyses based on X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) investigations as well as first-principle density functional calculation suggest that the simple ethanol impregnation treatment leads to the generation of oxygen vacancy on TiO2 surface which should be responsible for the coloration and enhanced photocatalytic activity.

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