Nanoporous silica/titania nanoparticles composites with relatively large TiO2 content are successfully synthesized by aerosol-assisted co-assembly. By the hybridization of titania with nanoporous silica having high surface area, both the adsorption capability and the reaction rates for the photocatalytic decomposition of methylene blue (MB) are dramatically improved in comparison with unmodified titania nanoparticles without nanoporous silica. Through the quantitative evaluation of the amount of adsorbed and photo-decomposed organic molecule throughout the reaction process, the role of nanoporous silica layers on titania surface is clarified. Rational design of future hybrid photocatalyst with precisely controlled nanostructure will be possible by optimization of our synthetic procedure and careful study of the adsorption and photocatalytic properties.
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