Open Access Nano Express

Carbon-modified TiO2 for photocatalysis

Malgorzata Wojtoniszak, Diana Dolat, Antoni Morawski and Ewa Mijowska*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Chemical and Environment Engineering, Westpomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, Pulaskiego 10, Szczecin, 70-322, Poland

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:235  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-235

Published: 26 April 2012

Abstract

Here we present a method to produce TiO2 nanocrystals coated by thin layer of graphitic carbon. The coating process was prepared via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with acetylene used as a carbon feedstock with TiO2 used as a substrate. Different temperatures (400°C and 500°C) and times (10, 20, and 60 s) of reaction were explored. The prepared nanocomposites were investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy/diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and ultraviolet-vis (UV-vis)/diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Furthermore, photocatalytic activity of the materials was investigated under visible and UV-vis light irradiation in the process of phenol decomposition. It was found that TiO2 modification with carbon resulted in a significant increase of photoactivity under visible irradiation and decrease under UV-vis light irradiation. Interestingly, a shorter CVD time and higher process temperature resulted in the preparation of the samples exhibiting higher activity in the photocatalytic process under visible light irradiation.

Keywords:
Graphite; CVD; TiO2; Photocatalyst