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Photocatalysis for Environmental Applications

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00458

A novel synthetic method for N-TiO2 nanoparticles via plasma enhanced electrolysis and photocatalytic activity within the visible region

Tae Hyung Kim1, Gwang-Myeong Go2,  Hong-Baek Cho2, Yoseb Song2, Chan-Gi Lee1* and  Yong-Ho Choa2*
  • 1Research Institute for Advanced Technology (IAE), South Korea
  • 2Hanyang University, South Korea

Nitrogen doped TiO2 (N-TiO2) nanoparticles were synthesized via a novel plasma enhanced electrolysis method using bulk titanium (Ti) as a source material and nitric acid as the nitrogen dopant. This method possesses remarkable merits with regard to the direct-metal synthesis of nanoparticles with its one-step process, eco-friendliness, and its ability to be mass produced. The nanoparticles were synthesized from bulk Ti metal and dipped in 5 – 15 mmol of a nitric acid electrolyte under the application of AC 500 V, the minimum range of voltage to generate plasma. By controlling the electrolyte concentration, the nanoparticle size distribution could be tuned between 12.1 nm and 24.7 nm using repulsion forces via variations in pH. The prepared N-TiO2 nanoparticles were calcined at between 100 – 300 oC to determine their photocatalytic efficiency within the visible-light region, which depended on their crystal structure and N doping content. Analysis showed that the temperature treatment yielded an anatase TiO2 crystalline structure when the N doping content was varied from 0.4 to 0.54 at.%. In particular, the 0.4 at.% N doped TiO2 catalyst exhibited the highest catalytic performance with quadruple efficiency compared to the P-25 standard TiO2 nanoparticles, which featured a 91% degradation of methyl orange organic dye within 300 min. This solid-liquid reaction based on plasma enhanced electrolysis could open new pathways with regard to high purity mass producible ceramic nanoparticles with advanced properties.

Keywords: Plasma enhanced electrolysis, Amorphous N-doped TiO2, Visible region photocatalyst, Metal-direct synthesis, Nanoparticle Synthesis

Received: 06 Jul 2018; Accepted: 13 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Fan Dong, Chongqing Technology and Business University, China

Reviewed by:

Guohong Wang, Hubei Normal University, China
Jingyu Wang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Kim, Go, Cho, Song, Lee and Choa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Chan-Gi Lee, Research Institute for Advanced Technology (IAE), Yongin, Gyeonggi, South Korea,
Prof. Yong-Ho Choa, Hanyang University, Seoul, 15588, Gyeonggi, South Korea,