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

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Center for Advanced Optoelectronic Functional Materials Research, and Key Laboratory for UV-Emitting Materials and Technology of Ministry of Education, Northeast Normal University, 5268 Renmin Street, Changchun 130024, China
School of Physics, Chongqing University, Shapingba, Chongqing 401331, China
§ Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, 29 Zhongguancun East Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100190, China
*E-mail: [email protected]. Fax: +86 431 85099772. Tel.: +86 431 85099772 (X.Z.).
*E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: +86 23 65678362 (S.C.).
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 7, 14, 7752–7758
Publication Date (Web):March 23, 2015
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.5b00888
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

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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Photographs of heat-treated TiO2 samples without and with solvent impregnation, dark adsorption data of β-naphthol and RhB over the pristine TiO2 and modified samples, time course of acetaldehyde generation during ethanol decomposition over heated TiO2 samples. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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