Anatase TiO2 nanoparticles/carbon nanotubes nanofibers: preparation, characterization and photocatalytic properties
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In the present work, we report the preparation and photocatalytic properties of hybrid nanofibers/mats of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) using combined sol–gel and electrospinning techniques. Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) is used as a base polymer in the electrospinning suspension to assist the formation of nanofibers and subsequently removed by calcination. The hybrid nanofibers are characterized using XRD, Raman spectra, FT-IR, XPS, SEM, TEM and N2 adsorption measurements. The results show that MWNTs are encapsulated by in-situ formed anatase TiO2 nanoparticles, with chemical bonding C–O–Ti between anatase TiO2 nanoparticles and MWNTs. Hybrid nanofibrous mats with moderate content of MWNTs (mass ratio TiO2:MWNTs = 100:20) exhibit enhanced adsorption ability and excellent photocatalytic activity. The composition, diameter and morphology of hybrid nanofibers can be tuned by varying sol–gel formulation, electrospinning parameter and post-treatment condition. TiO2/MWNTs hybrid nanofiber and mats have promising applications in water purification and solar cell areas.