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Natural Light Source Assisted Synthesis of Self-decorated Ag/TiO2 Nanoparticles for Enhanced Photocatalytic Degradation of Fluorescein Dye

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Self-decoration of silver (Ag) nanoparticles on the surface of titanium dioxide (TiO2, Degussa P25) photocatalyst are prepared via simple solution chemistry in absence of specific organic ligands for metal reduction, with an available natural light source. An in-situ method is carried out for the self-induced decoration of Ag nanoparticles onto the TiO2 surfaces and the properties of the metal nanoparticle have been revealed based on the photocatalytic activity. The average particle size of the self-decorated Ag nanoparticle on the TiO2 surface was ~2 nm. The photocatalytic degradations of fluorescein dye in aqueous suspensions of pure TiO2 and Ag/TiO2 photocatalysts were studied under Xenon light irradiation. We found that the photocatalytic degradation rate was largely influenced by the particle size of the self-decorated Ag nanoparticles on the TiO2 surface. The proposed photodegradation mechanism proved the possibility visible light excitation due to localized surface plasmon resonance and the electron transfer from the plasmonically excited Ag nanoparticles to the conduction band of TiO2 in addition to the usual ultra-violet excitation. The combined UV and visible light excitation improve the photodegradation behavior on fluorescein dye molecules effectively over the 83% of dye degradation.
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Keywords: TiO2; nanoparticle; photocatalyst; silver

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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