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Luffa-Sponge-Like Glass–TiO2 Composite Fibers as Efficient Photocatalysts for Environmental Remediation

Ma, Zhijun, Chen, Weibo, Hu, Zhongliang, Pan, Xuanzhao, Peng, Mingying, Dong, Guoping, Zhou, Shifeng, Zhang, Qinyuan, Yang, Zhongmin, Qiu, Jianrong
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2013 v.5 no.15 pp. 7527-7536
biological resistance, glass, nanocrystals, nanofibers, photocatalysts, porous media, remediation, silica, strength (mechanics), titanium dioxide
Structural design of photocatalysts is of great technological importance for practical applications. A rational design of architecture can not only promote the synthetic performance of photocatalysts but also bring convenience in their application procedure. Nanofibers have been established as one of the most ideal architectures of photocatalysts. However, simultaneous optimization of the photocatalytic efficiency, mechanical strength, and thermal/chemical tolerance of nanofibrous photocatalysts remains a big challenge. Here, we demonstrate a novel design of TiO₂–SiO₂ composite fiber as an efficient photocatalyst with excellent synthetic performance. Core–shell mesoporous SiO₂ fiber with high flexibility was employed as the backbone for supporting ultrasmall TiO₂ nanowhiskers of the anatase phase, constructing core@double-shell fiber with luffa-sponge-like appearance. Benefitting from their continuously long fibrous morphology, highly porous structure, and completely inorganic nature, the TiO₂–SiO₂ composite fibers simultaneously possess high photocatalytic reactivity, good flexibility, and excellent thermal and chemical stability. This novel architecture of TiO₂–SiO₂ glass composite fiber may find extensive use in the environment remediation applications.