|Title:||Correlations between photocatalytic activity and chemical structure of Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 nanoparticle composites|
|Authors:||Čižmar, T. (Authorship owner)|
Čižmar, T. (Author)
|Files:|| Dissertation_Tihana_Cizmar.pdf (3,05 MB)|
|Work type:||Doctoral dissertation (mb31)|
|Tipology:||2.08 - Doctoral Dissertation|
|Organization:||FPŠ - Graduate School|
|Abstract:||The objective of this dissertation was to examine how copper modification can improve the photocatalytic activity of TiO2-SiO2 and to explain the correlation between Cu concentration and chemical state of Cu cations in the TiO2-SiO2 matrix, as well as the photocatalytic activity under the UV/solar irradiation.
The Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 photocatalysts were prepared by a low temperature sol-gel method based on organic copper, silicon and titanium precursors with varied Cu concentrations (from 0.05 to 3 mol%). The sol-gels were dried at 150 °C to obtain the photocatalysts in the powder form. To test thermal stability, additional set of photocatalysts was obtained by calcinating dried samples in air at 500 °C for 1 h.
The photocatalytic activity was determined by a fluorescence-based method of terephthalic acid decomposition. Up to three times increase in photocatalytic activity of air-dried samples is obtained when TiO2-SiO2 matrix is modified with Cu in a narrow concentration range from 0.05 to 0.1 mol%. At higher Cu loadings the photocatalytic activity of Cu-modified photocatalyst is smaller than in the unmodified reference TiO2-SiO2 photocatalyst. Calcined samples showed significantly reduced photocatalytic activity compared to air-dried samples.
XRD analysis showed that all Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 nanocomposites with different Cu concentrations have the same crystalline structure as unmodified TiO2-SiO2 nanocomposites (air-dried or calcined). The addition of Cu does not change the relative ratio between the anatase and brookite phase or unit cell parameters of the two TiO2 crystalline structures. TEM analysis showed that the addition of Cu does not change the morphology of TiO2-SiO2 catalyst dried at 150 °C.
The Cu K-edge XANES and EXAFS analysis were used to determine valence state and local structure of Cu cations in Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 photocatalyst. The results elucidate the mechanism responsible for the improved or hindered photocatalytic activity. In the air-dried samples with low Cu content, which exhibit largest activity, Cu-O-Ti connections are formed, suggesting that the activity enhancement is due to Cu(II) cations attachment on the surface of the photocatalytically active TiO2 nanoparticles, so Cu(II) cations may act as free electron traps, reducing the intensity of recombination between electrons and holes at the TiO2 photocatalyst’s surface. At higher Cu loadings no additional Cu-O-Ti connections are formed, instead only Cu-O-Cu connections are established, indicating the formation of amorphous or nanocrystalline Cu(II) oxide, which hinders the photocatalytic activity of TiO2. Calcination of Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 photocatalysts at 500 °C induces significant structural changes: Cu-O-Ti connections are lost, Cu partially incorporates into the SiO2 matrix and amorphous copper oxides, which again reduce the photocatalytic activity of the material, are formed.|
|Keywords:||titanium dioxide, Cu-modified TiO2-SiO2 photocatalyst, photocatalytic activity, Cu K-edge XANES, EXAFS.|
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