Active nanostructures which provide unique transformations are being introduced to phase matched porous silicon (PS) nano/micropores to form a platform for low power consumption highly selective sensors and microreactors. TiO2-xNx photocatalysts have been formed in seconds at room temperature at the nanoscale via the direct nitration of anatase TiO2 nanocolloids. Tunability throughout the visible depends upon the degree of agglomeration and the ability to seed these nanoparticles with metal ions. Co metal ion seeding leads to the efficient room temperature phase transformation, of anatase to rutile TiO2, where normally much higher temperatures are required. Seeding of a properly nitridated TiO2 nanocolloid with transition metal ions (Co, Ni) allows for the enhancement of the infrared spectra of the TiO2-xNx nitridated titania surface in excess of 10-fold, providing a means to analyze for minor contaminants and intermediates. Evidence for nitrogen fixation is found in Fe treated systems. The TiO2-xNx systems act as visible light absorbing photocatalyts. These photocatalysts and additional nanostructured metal oxides can be placed on the surface of PS-based sensor and microreactor configurations to greatly improve the interface response.
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Gole, J.L., Ozdemir, S., Prokes, S.M. et al. Active Nanostructures at Interfaces for Photocatalytic Reactors and Low-power Consumption Sensors. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1257, 904 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1257-O09-04