Synthesis and characterisation of silica-modified titania for photocatalytic decolouration of crystal violet

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Journal Article
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2015, 15 (7), pp. 5326 - 5329
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Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers. In the past few years, silica-modified titania has drawn increasing attention due to their special properties making them ideal candidates for a wide range of applications. In this study, we report a novel method for the synthesis of silica-modified titania by a sol-gel method using sodium silicate solution (1 M). The hydrolysis and condensation reactions of titanium dioxide (TiO2 , Degussa Aeroxide ® P25) in sodium silicate solution proceeded with citric acid (3 M) as a catalyst. The orbital shaking method was followed for the removal of sodium salt formed during the sol-gel process. Solvent exchange was carried out using methanol and hexane. Finally, chemical modification of the gel was conducted using trimethylchlorosilane followed by ambient pressure drying. The obtained silica-modified titania was characterised for nanostructural analysis using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The nitrogen adsorption-desorption measurements were employed to investigate the BET surface area, pore structure and pore volume of specimens. Thermal gravimetric analysis showed exothermic peaks at temperature range of 90-190 ° C representing the oxidation of organic groups from -Si-R network. The silica-modified titania showed high photocatalytic activity and an easy recovery using crystal violet as model water pollutant.
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