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TiO2@C core@shell nanocomposites: A single precursor synthesis of photocatalyst for efficient solar water treatment

Chauhan, Aditya, Sharma, Moolchand, Kumar, Sandeep, Thirumalai, Sundararajan, Kumar, Ramachandran Vasant, Vaish, Rahul
Journal of hazardous materials 2020 v.381 pp. 120883
absorption, carbon, drugs, dyes, light, mineralization, nanocomposites, nanomaterials, pathogens, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, pollutants, titanium dioxide, toxicity, water treatment
This study reports the facile synthesis of highly photoactive TiO2@C core@shell nanocomposites through a single alkoxide precursor. TiO2 and carbon-based hybrid nanomaterials are popular photocatalysts owing to their abundance, low toxicity, and high stability, making them strong candidates for practical solar water-treatment applications. However, synthesis of such nanomaterials is often a multi-step process and requires careful control of the external carbon source for producing the desired morphology. In this regard, this study reports the synthesis of well-dispersed TiO2@C nanocomposites without the need of an external carbon source. The resulting photocatalyst was employed for treatment of various water-borne pollutants including several dyes, pharmaceuticals, and pathogens. Rapid mineralization of pollutants could be achieved even with low amounts of catalyst, with the performance well exceeding that of pristine TiO2 and P25 Degussa. Results indicate that incorporation of C increases visible-light absorption and greatly improves the separation of photogenerated charge carriers. Given the facile synthesis and the wide scope of operation, the proposed catalyst could be a significant step towards practical photocatalytic solar water-treatment.