, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 3025-3037
Date: 18 Mar 2010

In situ generated gas bubble-assisted modulation of the morphologies, photocatalytic, and magnetic properties of ferric oxide nanostructures synthesized by thermal decomposition of iron nitrate

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Ferric oxide (Fe2O3) complex nanoarchitectures with high BET specific surface area, superior photocatalytic activity and modulated magnetic properties are facilely synthesized via controlled thermal decomposition of iron(III) nitrate nonahydrate. The products are characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transforming infrared spectra, field-emission scanning electron microscope, field-emission high-resolution transmission electron microscope, and nitrogen physisorption and micrometrics analyzer. The corresponding photocatalytic activity and static magnetic properties are also evaluated by measuring the photocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B aqueous solution under visible light illumination and vibrating sample magnetometer, respectively. Simply tuning the decomposition temperature can conveniently modulate the adsorbing/desorbing behaviors of the in situ generated gases on the nucleus surfaces, and consequently the crystalline structures and morphologies of the Fe2O3 complex nanoarchitectures. The as-prepared Fe2O3 complex nanoarchitectures show strong crystal structure and/or morphology-dependent photocatalytic and magnetic performances. The Fe2O3 complex nanoarchitectures with high specific surface area and favorable crystallization are found to be beneficial for improving the photocatalytic activity. This work not only reports a convenient and low-cost decomposition procedure and a novel formation mechanism of complex nanoarchitectures but also provides an efficient route to enhance catalytic and magnetic properties of Fe2O3.