Applied Surface Science, Vol.377, 121-133, 2016
Low temperature synthesis of N-doped TiO2 with rice-like morphology through peroxo assisted hydrothermal route: Materials characterization and photocatalytic properties
Nanorice-shaped N:TiO2 photocatalysts have been prepared by the peroxo assisted hydrothermal method using stabilized titanium complex as a precursor and urea as a N source. The N:TiO2 nanorices were characterised by XRD, FE-SEM, HRTEM, XPS, UV-vis spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and measurements of photocatalytic degradation of organic molecules (atrazine and RhB dye) under the UV and visible light irradiation. XRD analyses showed that pristine TiO2 crystallizes into anatase polymorph and that the N-doping process at 5% introduced a degree of disorder on the TiO2 crystalline structure. XPS study revealed the successful incorporation of the nitrogen atoms at the interstitial sites of the TiO2 crystal lattice. Microscopy studies revealed that the particle size was in the range 50-80 nm for the pristine TiO2. The photocatalysts were assembled in the form of nanorices with a high surface area (102 m(2) g(-1)). The successful incorporation of nitrogen atoms into the TiO2 crystal lattice is expected to be responsible for enhanced photocatalytic activity of the as-prepared samples for the degradation of pollutants (RhB and atrazine) under UV and visible light irradiation. The rate of " OH radicals formation under visible-light irradiation was examined and found to be correlated with the photocatalytic activity per unit surface area. The N:TiO2 particles with nanorice morphology was efficient photocatalysts for decomposition of organic dyes under UV and visible-light exposure while pristine TiO2 photocatalyst did not show any significant photocatalytic activity when stimulated by visible-light. The 3% doped N:TiO2 sample exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity among all synthesized photocatalysts. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.