Structure and Environmental Remediation of Visible and Ultraviolet Light Active Tungsten-Titanium Oxide Electrospun Nanofibers
Photocatalysts capable of utilizing broad spectrum of abundant natural light sources are of particular academic, industrial and environmental interest. In the present contribution, the synthesis and characterization of visible and UV light active nanofibers for far-reaching applications in photocatalysis were investigated. In particular, a route to fabricate hybrid nanofibers with visible and UV light active constituents was developed. As such, tungsten and titanium oxide-based (WO3–TiO2) photocatalytic nanofibers were generated by an electrospinning approach. For that intent, a solution containing tungsten and titanium oxide precursors was prepared. Under SEM, the resulting electrospun nanofibers showed their unique coarsen fibrous structures. By TEM, finer physical and crystal structures of the hybrid nanofibers could be revealed. Under a high magnification mode TEM, grain-like tungsten oxide-rich nano-domains appeared distinct on the titanium oxide-rich nanofibers. Furthermore, the hybrid nanofibers were effective in photocatalytic environmental remediation of model toxin under both visible and UV light sources. Unexpectedly, the nanofibrous layers prepared from these nanofibers showed super-hydrophilicity under both UV and visible light sources. Finally, the possibility of using these hybrid broadband nanofibers in environmental and hygienic nanofiltration under natural light sources was suggested, where the self-cleaning characteristics was expected to be valuable in maintenance processes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 August 2012
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