In this research work, crystalline structure, phase transformation, morphology and mean size of titanium dioxide (TiO2) electrospun nanofibers have been tailored by loading with 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 wt.% of silver (Ag) which was followed by calcination. The as prepared non woven mats of nanofibers were calcinated at 500 °C to allow the reaction moieties to leave the TiO2 matrix and subsequently formation of Ag clusters. The effect of Ag loading and calcination on the transformation of microstructure of these electrospun nanofibers have been characterized by XRD, FESEM, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy (RS). The mean diameter of Ag loaded nanofibers has been found to decrease upon calcination which was estimated to 70 nm whereas length was in the order of mm range. XRD and RS results have strongly supported the transformation of crystalline phase from rutile (A) to anatase (R) above 2.5 wt.% of Ag loading in TiO2 after calcination. The roughness on the outer surfaces of these nanofibers has been observed to increase with the Ag loading consequent to calcination, which has been attributed to the formation Ag nanoparticles that were found adsorbed at the surfaces. An interesting finding of this study is the existence of 1D nanofibers’ structure even at higher (7.5 wt.%) Ag loading, as observed by the SEM micrographs.
Nanofibers Electrospinning Electron microscopy X-ray diffraction Raman spectroscopy Crystal structure
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The authors would like to acknowledge the technical support extended by Central Resource Lab, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.
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