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TiO2 structures doped with noble metals and/or graphene oxide to improve the photocatalytic degradation of dichloroacetic acid

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Abstract

Noble metals have been used to improve the photocatalytic activity of TiO2. Noble metal nanoparticles prevent charge recombination, facilitating electron transport due to the equilibration of the Fermi levels. Furthermore, noble metal nanoparticles show an absorption band in the visible region due to a high localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect, which contributes to additional electron movements. Moreover, systems based on graphene, titanium dioxide, and noble metals have been used, considering that graphene sheets can carry charges, thereby reducing electron-hole recombination, and can be used as substrates of atomic thickness. In this work, TiO2-based nanocomposites were prepared by blending TiO2 with noble metals (Pt and Ag) and/or graphene oxide (GO). The nanocomposites were mainly characterized via transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy, and photocurrent analysis. Here, the photocatalytic performance of the composites was analyzed via oxidizing dichloroacetic acid (DCA) model solutions. The influence of the noble metal load on the composite and the ability of the graphene sheets to improve the photocatalytic activity were studied, and the composites doped with different noble metals were compared. The results indicated that the platinum structures show the best photocatalytic degradation, and, although the presence of graphene oxide in the composites is supposed to enhance their photocatalytic performance, graphene oxide does not always improve the photocatalytic process.

It is a schematic diagram. Where NM is Noble Metal and LSPR means Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance

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Acknowledgments

Financial support from projects CTM2015-69845-R and CTQ2015-66078-R (MINECO/FEDER, UE) are gratefully acknowledged. Paula Ribao also thanks the University of Cantabria for her research grant. The authors wish to thank Professor Jesús Antonio González and Fernando Rodriguez of the Department CITIMAC of the University of Cantabria for their assistance in the Raman spectra and photocurrent measurements, respectively.

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Correspondence to Inmaculada Ortiz.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Ribao, P., Rivero, M.J. & Ortiz, I. TiO2 structures doped with noble metals and/or graphene oxide to improve the photocatalytic degradation of dichloroacetic acid. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 12628–12637 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7714-x

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Keywords

  • Photocatalysis
  • Noble metals
  • Graphene oxide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Schottky barrier
  • LSPR