Biomimetic synthesis of TiO₂-SiO₂-Ag nanocomposites with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity

Chuang Liu, Dong Yang, Yang Jiao, Yao Tian, Yuangui Wang, Zhongyi Jiang
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2013, 5 (9): 3824-32
Ternary TiO2-SiO2-Ag nanocomposites with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity have been synthesized through a facile biomimetic approach by utilizing lysozyme as both inducing agent of TiO2 and reducing agent of Ag(+). TiO2 nanoparticles (∼280 nm) are at first fabricated by the inducing of lysozyme. Afterward, SiO2 layers are formed as "pancakes" stuck out of TiO2 nanoparticles through a sol-gel process. Finally, Ag nanocrystals (∼24.5 nm) are deposited onto the surface of TiO2-SiO2 composites via the reduction of lysozyme, forming TiO2-SiO2-Ag nanocomposites. The resultant nanocomposites display a high photocatalytic activity for the degradation of Rhodamine B under the visible-light irradiation, which can be attributed to the synergistic effect of enhanced photon absorption from the surface plasma resonance of Ag nanocrystals and the elevated adsorption capacity for Rhodamine B from the high specific surface area of SiO2. This study may provide some inspiration for the rational design and the facile synthesis of composite catalysts with a high and tunable catalytic property through a green, efficient pathway.

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