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Issue 30, 2011
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The relationship between photocatalytic activity and photochromic state of nanoparticulate silver surface loaded titanium dioxide thin-films

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Abstract

Anatase titania thin-films were prepared by a modified spray-pyrolysis method. Glass substrates were coated at room temperature with an aerosol-spray of a titania sol–gel solution and then annealed at 500 °C to form rough, transparent, crystalline thin-films of anatase TiO2. Silver nanoparticles were deposited on the surface of these films by a photo-assisted deposition method; films were dip-coated in methanolic solutions of silver nitrate salt and then photo-irradiated for 5 h with UVC light. The AgNO3 concentration was adjusted to create an array of films with varying silver loadings. The films displayed photochromism; changing colour to orange-brown in UV-light to colourless under white light. The rates of photochromic change, when subjected to four different lighting conditions (UVC, UVA, white light and dark), were analysed by UV-visible spectroscopy. By assessing the photocatalytic activity to these light sources it was found that the initial photochromic state of the material had a profound effect on the films photocatalytic ability. This effect was more pronounced in the more concentrated silver loaded films; where significant enhancements in photoactivity occurred when reactions were initiated from the photo-reduced state. The mode of improved photocatalysis was attributed to the photo-generated electron trapping by silver nanoparticles, which stabilised photo-generated holes and drove photo-oxidation processes. We believe this is the first study in which the relationship between the photochromic state of a thin-film and its subsequent photocatalytic activity is reported.

Graphical abstract: The relationship between photocatalytic activity and photochromic state of nanoparticulate silver surface loaded titanium dioxide thin-films

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Mar 2011, accepted on 13 Jun 2011 and first published on 01 Jul 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1CP20624A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011,13, 13827-13838
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    The relationship between photocatalytic activity and photochromic state of nanoparticulate silver surface loaded titanium dioxide thin-films

    A. Kafizas, C. W. Dunnill and I. P. Parkin, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2011, 13, 13827
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CP20624A

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