F-doped TiO2 loaded with Ag (Ag/F-TiO2) was prepared by sol–gel process combined with photoreduction method. The physical and chemical properties of the prepared samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM),
high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and photoluminescence (PL). XPS analysis indicated Ag species existed as Ag0 in the structure of Ag/F-TiO2 samples. UV-Vis diffuse
reflectance spectra showed that the light absorption of Ag/F-TiO2 in the visible region had a significant enhancement compared with the F-doped TiO2 (F-TiO2). PL analysis indicated that the electron–hole recombination rate had been effectively inhibited
when Ag loaded on the surface of F-TiO2. The photocatalytic activities of the samples were evaluated for the degradation of X-3B (Reactive Brilliant Red dye, C.I. reactive red 2) under visible light (λ > 420 nm) irradiation. Compared with F-TiO2, the
sample of 0.50 Ag/F-TiO2 showed the highest photocatalytic activity. The interaction between F species and metallic Ag was responsible for improving the visible light photocatalytic activity.
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