Loughborough University
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Energy and electron transfer on titania-silica binary oxides

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posted on 2013-04-22, 07:48 authored by Anisoara Vancea
Steady state reflectance and emission characteristics of anthracene adsorbed on silica gel and titania-silica mixed oxides have been investigated as a function of sample loading. Titania-silica mixed oxides with 1, 3, 5 and 10 wt. % TiO2 were prepared by two different methods: a dropwise method and a sol-gel route. Ground state diffuse reflectance and fluorescence emission spectra of anthracene adsorbed on titania-silica surfaces show a dependence on titania content. The absorption peaks of anthracene are difficult to resolve at higher titania content due to the increasing red-shift of the titania absorption edge. The absorption edge of titania is shifted to longer wavelengths and the band gap energy decreases with increasing the titania loading. Diffuse reflectance laser flash photolysis at 355 nm produces both the triplet and radical cation of anthracene and gives relevant information regarding the photochemical transients and the kinetics details of the surface photochemical processes. Energy dependence studies confirm the monophotonic nature of the triplet production, whereas the anthracene radical cation is formed by monophoton or multiphoton ionisation in the mixed titania-silica systems. Energy and electron transfer reactions of anthracene co-adsorbed with azulene as electron donor on silica sol-gel and titania-silica mixed oxides prepared by the sol-gel method with different titania content have been studied using the time-resolved diffuse reflectance laser flash photolysis technique. The fluorescence of excited anthracene adsorbed on silica sol-gel is quenched by the addition of azulene, while co-adsorption of azulene on titania-silica mixed oxides resulted in a decrease in the fluorescence intensity of the adsorbed anthracene due to the formation, at the same time, of anthracene radical cation and Ti3+ species on the titania-silica surface. Triplet-triplet energy transfer from the excited anthracene to ground state azulene and electron transfer from azulene to the anthracene radical cation have been investigated using a time-resolved diffuse reflectance laser flash photolysis technique following laser excitation at 355 nm. Bimolecular rate constants for energy and electron transfer between anthracene and azulene have been obtained. Kinetic analysis of the decay of the anthracene triplet state and radical cation show that the kinetic parameters depend on the titania content of the sample and the azulene concentration. This indicates that the rate of energy and electron transfer reactions increases as a function of azulene concentration and decreases with increasing titania content in titania-silica mixed oxides, whereas the observed rate of reaction on silica sol-gel is predominantly governed by the rate of diffusion of azulene. Electron transfer reactions in a ternary system using azulene for hole transfer between 9-anthracenecarboxylic acid radical cation as electron acceptor and perylene as electron donor were also studied in order to demonstrate the mobility of radical cations on the silica sol-gel and titania-silica surfaces. The co-adsorption of azulene as a molecule shuttle with 9-anthracenecarboxylic acid and perylene on both silica sol-gel and titania-silica systems has been shown to enhance the rate of electron transfer in this ternary system. Activation energies for energy and electron transfer on photoinduced bimolecular and termolecular processes on silica sol-gel and titania-silica mixed oxides have been measured. In bimolecular anthracene / azulene systems, at higher azulene loadings, the activation energies and the pre-exponential factors on titania-silica surfaces are the same for both energy and electron transfer and are comparable with the parameters extracted for azulene diffusion on silica Davisil suggesting that azulene diffuses across the silica Davisil and titania-silica mixed oxides surfaces, while at lower azulene loadings, ion-electron recombination dominates and the activation energy extracted is for this process. In a ternary 9-anthracenecarboxylic acid / azulene / perylene system, the activation energy for perylene diffusion is higher than that observed for the anthracene / azulene system, reflecting the lower mobility of the perylene molecule. In this study, a series of titania-silica samples with different loadings of titania (1 10 wt. %) prepared by the sol-gel method and also the pure TiO2 P25 Degussa have been used to study the photocatalytic degradation of 4-chlorophenol in aqueous solution under UV light irradiation. The absorption peak of 4-chlorophenol at 280 nm decreases with increasing titania content and finally disappeared suggesting that titania has a positive influence on the degradation of 4-chlorophenol. The investigated titania-silica mixed oxides prepared by the sol-gel method are less efficient photocatalysts for the degradation of 4-chlorophenol than TiO2 P25.



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© Anisoara Vancea

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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