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Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue by Plasmonic Metal-TiO2 Nanocatalysts Under Visible Light Irradiation

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This study demonstrates photocatalytic activity of 1 wt% plasmonic metal (Au, Ag and Cu)–TiO2 nanocatalysts prepared via photodeposition method for the photo oxidative decomposition of methylene blue (MB 0.01 mM) under visible light (50 mWcm−2) irradiation. Plasmonic metal loaded-TiO2 photocatalysts absorb with an absorption maximum at localized surface plasmon resonance wavelengths (500–785 nm). It has been observed that pH altered the surface charge (ζ) of TiO2 (ζ = –4.98, –4.0 and +9.16 at pH = 10, 7 and 3, respectively). The point of zero charge (PZC) at pH 6.3 has been determined from a correlation plot between pH and ζ. Higher rate of degradation was observed at pH = 10 because of electrostatic interaction of cationic MB with anionic TiO2. Higher photocatalytic activity was shown by Cu–TiO2 followed by Au–TiO2 and Ag–TiO2 photocatalysts in comparison to TiO2-P25. This enhancement in photocatalytic efficiency is attributed to the plasmonic effect and effective charge separation at the interface between nano size metal deposits and TiO2 particles. The overall photocatalytic reaction followed pseudo first order kinetics as per Langmuir Hinshelwood kinetic equation. GC and GC-MS studies suggested the formation of thionin after demethylation and derivatives of benzene sulphonic acid which are subsequently degraded to CO2 after prolonged irradiation time.
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Keywords: Au/Ag/Cu–TiO2 Nanocomposites; Coinage Metal Cocatalyst; Methylene Blue Degradation; Photooxidation; Plasmonic Effect; Visible Light Photocatalysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Thapar University, Patiala 147004, Punjab, India

Publication date: 2017-02-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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