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Nanomaterials 2014, 4(3), 583-598; doi:10.3390/nano4030583

Mesoporous Titania Powders: The Role of Precursors, Ligand Addition and Calcination Rate on Their Morphology, Crystalline Structure and Photocatalytic Activity

1
Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University di Sassari and INSTM, Via Vienna 2, I-07100 Sassari, Italy
2
Departament de Física, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
3
Servei de Microscòpia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
4
Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Institute for Materials Research, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
5
Helmut-Schmidt-University, Functional Materials, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2014 / Revised: 11 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ordered Mesoporous Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

We evaluate the influence of the use of different titania precursors, calcination rate, and ligand addition on the morphology, texture and phase content of synthesized mesoporous titania samples, parameters which, in turn, can play a key role in titania photocatalytic performances. The powders, obtained through the evaporation-induced self-assembly method, are characterized by means of ex situ X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) measurements, N2 physisorption isotherms and transmission electron microscopy. The precursors are selected basing on two different approaches: the acid-base pair, using TiCl4 and Ti(OBu)4, and a more classic route with Ti(OiPr)4 and HCl. For both precursors, different specimens were prepared by resorting to different calcination rates and with and without the addition of acetylacetone, that creates coordinated species with lower hydrolysis rates, and with different calcination rates. Each sample was employed as photoanode and tested in the water splitting reaction by recording I-V curves and comparing the results with commercial P25 powders. The complex data framework suggests that a narrow pore size distribution, due to the use of acetylacetone, plays a major role in the photoactivity, leading to a current density value higher than that of P25. View Full-Text
Keywords: titania; EISA method; powders; photocatalysis; water splitting titania; EISA method; powders; photocatalysis; water splitting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Masolo, E.; Meloni, M.; Garroni, S.; Mulas, G.; Enzo, S.; Baró, M.D.; Rossinyol, E.; Rzeszutek, A.; Herrmann-Geppert, I.; Pilo, M. Mesoporous Titania Powders: The Role of Precursors, Ligand Addition and Calcination Rate on Their Morphology, Crystalline Structure and Photocatalytic Activity. Nanomaterials 2014, 4, 583-598.

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