The effect of crystalline phase (anatase, brookite and rutile) and size on the photocatalytic activity of calcined polymorphic titanium dioxide (TiO2)
Allen, Norman S.
Kriek, Roelof J.
Kelly, Peter J.
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The effect of thermal treatment on the morphology (crystalline phase and size) and photocatalytic activity of freshly prepared TiO2 nano-powder is communicated. TiO2 nano-powders, prepared by hydrolyzing titanium tetraisopropoxide at room temperature, were all dried at 382 K and subsequently calcined at different temperatures, for 1 h, up to 1172 K. Raman analysis of each thermally treated sample exhibited different titania phase structures. Up to 772 K a mixture of brookite and anatase phases was observed, while a mixture of all three phases, i.e. anatase, brookite and rutile, was observed at 872 K, with a rutile only phase at 1097 K and above. The photocatalytic activity of all samples was assessed by means of the photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange dye (MeO). All anatase-brookite compositions exhibited high photocatalytic activity with the rate of degradation decreasing with increasing calcination temperature, which coincides with (i) a slight increase of the anatase phase, (ii) a slight decrease of the brookite phase, and (iii) a gradual increase of the crystallite size of all phases. The greatest photocatalytic activity was observed for the sample calcined at 382 K, which contained the highest amount of brookite (in the presence of anatase as the dominant phase), while the lowest rate was observed for the pure rutile sample