Magnetically separable Fe3O4@SiO2@TiO2-Ag microspheres with well-designed nanostructure and enhanced photocatalytic activity

Yue Chi, Qing Yuan, Yanjuan Li, Liang Zhao, Nan Li, Xiaotian Li, Wenfu Yan
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2013 November 15, 262: 404-11
Major efforts in modern material chemistry are devoted to the design and fabrication of nanostructured systems with tunable physical-chemical properties for advanced catalytic applications. Here, a novel Fe3O4@SiO2@TiO2-Ag nanocomposite has been synthesized and characterized by a series of techniques including SEM, TEM, XRD, XPS as well as magnetization measurement and subsequently tested for the photocatalytic activities. The well-designed nanocomposite exhibits significantly superior activity to that of the commercial Degussa P25 thanks to the suppression of electron-hole pairs from recombination by Ag nanoparticles, and can be easily recycled by applying an external magnetic field while maintaining the catalytic activity without significant decrease even after running 10 times. The unique nanostructure makes Fe3O4@SiO2@TiO2-Ag a highly efficient, recoverable, stable, and cost-effective photocatalytic system offering broad opportunities in the field of catalyst synthesis and application.

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