A simple sol–gel process was developed to synthesize a nitrogen-doped titanium oxide (TiON) nanoparticle photocatalyst. Our work shows that the precursor ratio (tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMA)/titanium tetraisopropoxide (TTIP)) has significant effects on the structure, composition, and optical properties of TiON nanoparticles. At high initial TMA/TTIP ratios, crystallization of the sol–gel TiON nanoparticle powders was sluggish, requiring a higher calcination temperature. As a high calcination temperature caused greater nitrogen loss, a high initial TMA/TTIP ratio in the TiON precursor did not ensure a high N/Ti atomic ratio in the TiON powders. By optimizing the initial TMA/TTIP ratio and the calcination temperature, crystalline powders were obtained with high nitrogen concentrations. These sol–gel TiON nanoparticles showed strong visible light absorbance.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
High Performance Polymers and Composites Center, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia 30314
Publication date: April 1, 2007