UV and visible light active aqueous titanium dioxide colloids stabilized by surfactants
Attempts to increase the stability of photocatalytically active nanodispersions of titanium dioxide over a wide range of pH (3–10) were undertaken. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) with different molecular weights and polyoxyethylenesorbitan monooleate (Tween® 80) were tested as stabilizing agents of TiO2 nanoparticles. The results of DLS measurements proved the stabilizing effect of Tween® 80 while the systems involving PEGs, independently of the polymer concentration, showed a tendency to form aggregates in neutral solutions. The colloids stabilized with Tween® 80 were photosensitized with 2,3-naphthalenediol (nd) or 2-hydroxy-3-naphthoic acid (hn) or catechol (cat). The photocatalytic activity of such colloids has been assessed in an azure B degradation reaction using both UV and visible light. The nd@TiO2 + Tween colloid appeared particularly photoactive upon visible light irradiation. Moreover, the comparison of activities of nd@TiO2 + Tween and TiO2 + Tween revealed a significantly better performance of the former nanodispersion, independently of the irradiation conditions (UV or visible light). This effect has been explained by different structures of micelles formed in the case of TiO2 and nd@TiO2 stabilized with Tween® 80.