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Facile One-Step Synthesis of Inorganic-Framework Molecularly Imprinted TiO2 and Its Molecular Recognitive Photocatalytic Degradation of Target Pollutant

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Inorganic-framework molecularly imprinted TiO2 with molecular recognitive photocatalytic activity was prepared by a facile one-step method using tetrabutyl orthotitanate as titanium source as well as the precursor of functional monomer. Unlike the approach of coating an organic layer of molecularly imprinted polymer on TiO2, the adopted method for the synthesis of molecularly imprinted TiO2 nanoparticles that are molecular recognitive for the degradation of a target pollutant is simple and direct. Compared to non-imprinted TiO2, the molecularly imprinted TiO2 shows higher adsorption capacity and molecular recognition towards the template molecules. The photocatalytic activity of molecularly imprinted TiO2 towards the target molecules is more than two times that of non-imprinted TiO2, a result of selective adsorption of target molecules on molecularly imprinted TiO2. The enhancement in terms of adsorption capacity and molecular recognition can be attributed to the chemical interaction between the target molecules and imprinted cavities, as well as to the geometric matching between imprinted cavities and target molecules. Moreover, the molecularly imprinted TiO2 exhibits excellent regeneration ability.
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Keywords: DIRECT SYNTHESIS; MOLECULAR RECOGNITION; MOLECULARLY IMPRINTED TIO2; PHOTOCATALYTIC ACTIVITY; SOL–GEL METHOD

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2014

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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