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Issue 29, 2014
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Plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic water purification

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Increasing water demand and water scarcity around the world requires the development of robust and efficient methods for water purification in the coming decades. Here, we report a photocatalytic water purification method using visible light (532 nm) utilizing 5 nm gold nanoparticles and their enhancement when attached on the surface of silica nanospheres as an inactive support to prevent nanoparticle coalescence or sintering. This is a non-toxic, low-cost, and easy photocatalytic process which provides high decomposition rates. Decomposition of the methyl orange dye is tested as a reaction model and trichloroethylene is selected as an example of a real water pollutant. When irradiated at their plasmon resonant frequency, the gold nanoparticles generate hydroxyl radicals that degradate organic pollutants into non-toxic molecules representing a basic mechanism of photocatalytic water purification.

Graphical abstract: Plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic water purification

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Article information

16 Jan 2014
03 Feb 2014
First published
10 Feb 2014

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 15111-15116
Article type

Plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic water purification

L. Gomez, V. Sebastian, M. Arruebo, J. Santamaria and S. B. Cronin, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 15111
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP00229F

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