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Preparation of hollow TiO2 nanoparticles through TiO2 deposition on polystyrene latex particles and characterizations of their structure and photocatalytic activity

Jingang Wang, Jiemei Yu, Xiaoli Zhu and Xiang Zheng Kong*

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College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Jinan, Jinan, 250022, China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:646  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-646

Published: 24 November 2012

Abstract

In a mixed solvent of water and ethanol, polystyrene/titanium dioxide (PSt/TiO2) composite particles of core-shell structure were prepared by hydrolysis of tetrabutyl titanate in the presence of cationic PSt particles or anionic PSt particles surface-treated using γ-aminopropyl triethoxysilane. Hollow TiO2 particles were obtained through calcination of the PSt/TiO2 core-shell particles to burn off the PSt core or through dissolution of the core by tetrahydrofuran (THF). An alternative process constituted of preheating the PSt/TiO2 particles at 200°C to allow partial crystallization followed by calcination or PSt dissolution by THF. The outcome TiO2 particles thus prepared were examined by TEM, and hollow TiO2 particles were observed. The crystalline phase structure and phase transformation were characterized, which revealed that preheating before the removal of the PSt core was useful to achieve the desired hollow TiO2 particles, and the calcination process was beneficial to the formation of anatase and rutile structures. The tests of TiO2 particles as catalyst in the photodegradation of Rhodamine B demonstrated that a much higher catalytic activity was observed with the TiO2 hollow particles prepared through calcination combined with preheating.

Keywords:
Nanostructured inorganic materials; Surfaces; Interfaces; Sol-gel processes; PSt/TiO2 core-shell composites; Preheating; Calcination; Photodegradation catalysis