Cone-shaped titanate immobilized on polyacrylonitrile nanofibers: hierarchical architecture for effective photocatalytic activity†
A new photocatalytic composite material, based on flexible functional polyacrylonitrile nanofibers (denoted as f-PAN NF), was developed by depositing composite layers of α-TiO2 and cone-shaped titanate (H2Ti5O11·3H2O) successively. The α-TiO2 coated on f-PAN NF as a seed accelerated the nucleation of titanate. Cone-shaped titanate deposited on α-TiO2@f-PAN NF tightly at 35 °C with the assistance of cyanuric acid via Ostwald ripening. Due to the uniform distribution of cone-shaped titanate, the photocatalytic performance of hybrid f-PAN NF was remarkable under LED light irradiation and yielded additional photocatalytic applications as well. In addition, the composite photocatalyst exhibited better reusability and retrievability because of the special design involving a bonding between the nanofibers and layers.