Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.301, No.1, 236-247, 2006
A novel preparation of three-dimensionally ordered macroporous M/Ti (M = Zr or Ta) mixed oxide nanoparticles with enhanced photocatalytic activity
Three-dimensionally ordered macroporous (3 DOM) M/Ti (M = Zr or Ta) mixed oxides were prepared by cohydrolysis of a mixture of Zr(n-OC4H9)(4)/TTIP or TaCl5/TTIP (TTIP = titanium isopropoxide) combined with a polystyrene (PS) latex sphere templating technique. The resulting products exhibited homogeneous wall compositions, namely, Zr or Ta was uniformly dispersed into the TiO2 framework with the loading levels of 5, 10, and 20 mol% for Zr and 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 mol% for Ta, respectively. The estimated macropore diameter, wall thickness, and particle size of the products ranged from 280 to 290 nm, from 30 to 50 nm, and from 10 to 12 nm, respectively. The products showed only anatase phase structure although their starting solitary metal oxides exhibited suitable crystalline structures under the same preparation conditions. Raman scattering spectroscopy showed that the crystal structure of titania had a slight interference due to the incorporation of Zr or Ta, and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) showed the narrower band gap of the products compared with that of pure anatase TiO2. The products exhibited mesoporous wall structures, and their BET surface areas were higher than those of the corresponding pure 3 DOM metal oxides. The UV-light photocatalytic activity of the products was assessed by monitoring the photodegradation of two organic molecules including 4-nitrophenol (4-NP) and rhodamine B (RB). Both the photocatalytic reactions confirmed that the presence of the second metal oxide in the titania framework resulted in enhanced photocatalytic activity compared with the pure titania framework. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.