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α-Fe2O3 Nanoparticles/Vermiculite Clay Material: Structural, Optical and Photocatalytic Properties

1
Institute of Environmental Technology, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 2172/15, 708 00 Ostrava—Poruba, Czech Republic
2
Nanotechnology Centre, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 2172/15, 708 00 Ostrava—Poruba, Czech Republic
3
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Materials Science and Technology, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, 17. listopadu 2172/15, 708 00 Ostrava—Poruba, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(11), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12111880
Received: 16 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalysts for Environmental Applications)
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Abstract

Photocatalysis is increasingly becoming a center of interest due to its wide use in environmental remediation. Hematite (α-Fe2O3) is one promising candidate for photocatalytic applications. Clay materials as vermiculite (Ver) can be used as a carrier to accommodate and stabilize photocatalysts. Two different temperatures (500 °C and 700 °C) were used for preparation of α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles/vermiculite clay materials. The experimental methods used for determination of structural, optical and photocatalytic properties were X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), N2 adsorption method (BET), diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy (DRS), photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and photocatalytic reduction of CO2, respectively. The data from XRD were confronted with molecular modeling of the material arrangement in the interlayer space of vermiculite structure and the possibility of anchoring the α-Fe2O3 nanoparticles to the surface and edge of vermiculite. Correlations between structural, textural, optical and electrical properties and photocatalytic activity have been studied in detail. The α-Fe2O3 and α-Fe2O3/Ver materials with higher specific surface areas, a smaller crystallite size and structural defects (oxygen vacancies) that a play crucial role in photocatalytic activity, were prepared at a lower calcination temperature of 500 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: α-Fe2O3 photocatalysts; clay materials; photocatalytic activity; molecular simulation α-Fe2O3 photocatalysts; clay materials; photocatalytic activity; molecular simulation
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Valášková, M.; Tokarský, J.; Pavlovský, J.; Prostějovský, T.; Kočí, K. α-Fe2O3 Nanoparticles/Vermiculite Clay Material: Structural, Optical and Photocatalytic Properties. Materials 2019, 12, 1880.

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