Photocatalytic Methylene Blue Degradation of Electrospun Ti–Zn Complex Oxide Nanofibers
Department of Advanced Materials Engineering, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Gangwon 25457, Korea
WITH M-TECH Co., Ltd., Suwon, Gyeonggi 16229, Korea
Research Institute for Dental Engineering, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Gangwon 25457, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071311
Received: 14 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 July 2020 / Published: 4 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibers and Their Applications in Energy, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Sensing)
Photocatalysts are the most important technology in air pollution removal and the detoxification of organic materials. Doping and complexation are among the most used methods to improve the efficiency of photocatalysts. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanomaterials are widely used materials for photocatalysts and the degradation of toxic materials. Their mixed structure can be fabricated by many methods and the structure affects their properties. Nanofibers are efficient materials for photocatalysts due to their vertically formed structure, which improves the charge separation of photoelectrons. We fabricated them by an electrospinning process. A precursor consisting of titanium 4-isopropoxide, zinc acetate dihydrate and polyvinylpyrrolidone was used as a spinning solution for a mixed structure of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with different molar ratios. They were then calcined, crystallized by heat treatment and analyzed by thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and energy-dispersive spectroscope (EDS). After annealing, the average diameters of the Ti–Zn complex oxide nanofibers were 237.6–278.6 nm with different salt ratios, and multiple crystalline structures were observed, namely TiO2, ZnO, ZnTiO3 and Zn2TiO4. We observed the photocatalytic performance of the samples and compared them according to the photodegradation of methylene blue. The methylene blue concentration decreased to 0.008–0.650 after three hours, compared to an initial concentration of 1, with different metal oxide structures.