Enhanced photocatalytic activity of anatase-TiO 2 nanoparticles by fullerene modification: A theoretical and experimental study

Kezhen Qi, Rengaraj Selvaraj, Tharaya Al Fahdi, Salma Al-Kindy, Younghun Kim, Gui Chang Wang, Cheuk Wai Tai, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of fullerene (C 60 )-modified anatase TiO 2 (a-TiO 2 ) nanocomposites with different weight loadings of C 60 were successfully synthesized by a simple solution phase method. The as-prepared C 60 @a-TiO 2 nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), UV–vis diffuse reflectance absorption spectra (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) by the neat a-TiO 2 and C 60 @a-TiO 2 nanocomposites was investigated under UV-A light irradiation, demonstrating that C 60 effectively enhances the photocatalytic activity of a-TiO 2 nanoparticles with an optimal amount of 2.0 wt%. By combining with the density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we investigated the electronic structures of C 60 @a-TiO 2 hetero-interfaces to reveal the underlying principle of the C 60 loading on the photocatalytic activity. It was found that the incorporation of C 60 on the a-TiO 2 surface not only narrowed the band gap, but also introduced an additional doping state between the valance and conduction band. Therefore, the presence of intermediate electronic state will in turn contribute to the efficient charge separation and enhanced light adsorption for the C 60 @a-TiO 2 nanocomposites, resulting in an improved photocatalytic performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-758
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume387
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anatase nanoparticles
  • DFT calculation
  • Fullerene modification
  • Photocatalyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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