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Solar light active plasmonic Au@TiO2 nanocomposite with superior photocatalytic performance for H2 production and pollutant degradation

Abstract

Spherical shaped plasmonic Au nanoparticles (NPs) of size 10 nm (±4 nm) are decorated on TiO2 NPs for the synthesis of Au@TiO2 composite. Aqueous sol-gel method was employed for the decoration of Au NPs on TiO2. Effect of Au concentration on optical, structural surface properties and photocatalytic activity has been investigated. An optical study displays characteristics Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) of Au NPs which greatly red shifts the photo-absorption from UV to visible light. Tauc plot shows downward shift in band gap energy due to creation of metal-semiconductor Schottky junction at nano Au@TiO2 surface. Well crystallized mixed (anatase and rutile) TiO2 phase formation has been investigated in X-ray diffraction pattern. The decrease in Photoluminescence (PL) intensity with Au loading increases the charge carrier separation. The porous nature of the synthesized photocatalyst material was observed in both Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Field Emission Transmission Electron Microscopy (FETEM). Homogeneous distribution of Au NPs over entire TiO2 surface examined in FETEM and also confirmed in elemental mapping with STEM. Broadening and shifting of Raman peak from 143.2 cm-1 to 144.7 cm-1 indicates the generation of crystalline defects such as vacancies and interstitial rearrangement which may act as trapping sites for electron. BET surface measurement reveals that, surface area increases from 29.19 m2/g for bare TiO2 to 60.05 m2/g for 2 % (w/w) Au loading on TiO2. Synthesized porous Au@TiO2 composites exhibit a higher photocatalytic activity for splitting of H2O under natural solar radiation with the H2 generation rate of 399 μmol/0.1g/hr., which is much higher than 132 μmol/0.1g/hr. for pristine TiO2 NPs. Along with the hydrogen (H2) generation via water splitting, photocatalytic Rhodamine-B degradation and kinetics of the reaction was investigated in solar light. The rate was observed to be pseudo first order reaction.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Mar 2018, accepted on 15 May 2018 and first published on 17 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ01410H
Citation: New J. Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Solar light active plasmonic Au@TiO2 nanocomposite with superior photocatalytic performance for H2 production and pollutant degradation

    S. Khore, S. R. Kadam, S. D. Naik, B. B. Kale and R. Sonawane, New J. Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ01410H

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