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Effect of phase composition on the photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide obtained from supercritical antisolvent

Da Silva, Elisangela P., Winkler, Manuel E.G., Giufrida, Willyan M., Cardozo-Filho, Lucio, Alonso, Christian G., Lopes, Jardel B.O., Rubira, Adley F., Silva, Rafael
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.535 pp. 245-254
annealing, electron transfer, methyl orange, methylene blue, nanoparticles, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, photolysis, sustainable technology, titanium dioxide
Photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanoparticles is highly dependent on their phase composition. The coexistence of anatase and rutile phases in a single nanoparticle eases the electron transfer process between the phases, and favors the separation of photogenerated pairs. In this work, highly photoactive mixed-phase TiO2 nanostructures were prepared by supercritical antisolvent precipitation (SAS), an environmentally friendly technology. It is shown here that this methodology has the remarkable ability to produce highly porous (515 m2/g) and crystalline TiO2 nanoparticles. The phase composition of as-prepared TiO2 samples can be tailored through annealing process. Several mixed-phase TiO2 samples were tested to assess the correlation between photocatalytic activity and phase composition. The photocatalytic performance is strongly affected by the anatase-rutile ratio, since the synergism between phases enhances the charge separation, reducing the recombination effect of the photogenerated pairs (e−/h+). It was found that the nanocatalyst composed by 7.0 wt% of rutile phase and 93.0 wt% of anatase phase, named as TiO2_650, presented the highest photodegradation for both methyl orange (MO) and methylene blue (MB) dyes. Interestingly, TiO2 samples prepared by SAS have superior photoactivity than the benchmark photocatalyst names as P25, which is a widely used TiO2 material composed of anatase and rutile phases.