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Open Access Nano Express

Microwave-induced fast crystallization of amorphous hierarchical anatase microspheres

David G Calatayud1*, Teresa Jardiel1, Marco Peiteado2, Amador C Caballero1 and Daniel Fernández-Hevia34

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio, CSIC, c/Kelsen 5, Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain

2 POEMMA-CEMDATIC, ETSI Telecomunicación, (UPM), Av. Complutense 30, Madrid 28040, Spain

3 Department of Chemistry, Group of Photocatalysis and Spectroscopy Applied to the Environment (FEAM), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus de Tafira, Gran Canaria 35017, Spain

4 INAEL Electrical Systems, S.A. c/Jarama 5, Toledo 45007, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:273  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-273

Published: 29 May 2014

Abstract

The fabrication of hierarchical anatase microspheres with potential photocatalytic properties eventually comprises a consolidation step in which a high degree of crystalline order is typically achieved through conventional electric heating treatments. This however entails a substantial reduction in the specific surface area and porosity of the powders, with the consequent deterioration in their photocatalytic response. Here, we have tested the employ of microwave heating as an alternative energy-saving sintering method to promote fast crystallization. The results obtained suggest that under the microwave radiation, the TiO2 hierarchical structures can effectively crystallize in a drastically reduced heating time, allowing the specific surface area and the porosity to be kept in the high values required for an improved photocatalytic performance.

Keywords:
TiO2 anatase; Microwave heating; Nanoparticles; Hierarchical microspheres; Photocatalysis