Simple fabrication of N-doped mesoporous TiO2 nanorods with the enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity
1 College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
2 National Engineer Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
3 Department of Physics and Center for Marine-Integrated Biomedical Technology, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Republic of Korea
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:34 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-34Published: 16 January 2014
N-doped mesoporous TiO2 nanorods were fabricated by a modified and facile sol–gel approach without any templates. Ammonium nitrate was used as a raw source of N dopants, which could produce a lot of gasses such as N2, NO2, and H2O in the process of heating samples. These gasses were proved to be vitally important to form the special mesoporous structure. The samples were characterized by the powder X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, nitrogen adsorption isotherms, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and UV-visible absorption spectra. The average length and the cross section diameter of the as-prepared samples were ca. 1.5 μm and ca. 80 nm, respectively. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated by photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) in aqueous solution. The N-doped mesoporous TiO2 nanorods showed an excellent photocatalytic activity, which may be attributed to the enlarged surface area (106.4 m2 g-1) and the narrowed band gap (2.05 eV). Besides, the rod-like photocatalyst was found to be easy to recycle.