Hydrothermal synthesis and enhanced sunlight photoactivity of Gd, N, and P tri-doped anatase-TiO2 by TiCl4 hydrolysis
Gd, N, and P tri-doped anatase-TiO2 (GNPTO) nano-photocatalyst has been synthesized from TiCl4 hydrolysis using gadolinium nitrate, urea, and phosphoric acid as dopant sources via a hydrothermal process followed by calcination at 400°C. The physicochemical properties of as-synthesized samples have been investigated by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, N2 physical adsorption-desorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, UV-vis absorbance spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy techniques. Doped P in the TiO2 lattices plays a predominant role in inhibiting the phase transformation and crystal growth, and in improving the surface textural properties. Gd, N, and P tri-doping inhibits the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes, increases the surface hydroxyls, and improves the UV absorption. GNPTO exhibits the highest photoactivity towards 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) degradation under simulated sunlight irradiation among the undoped, doped, and P25 TiO2. ·OH radicals play a key role in 4-CP degradation, and photogenerated electrons also play a minor role through the final formation of ·OH via H2O2. Synergetic mechanism of the enhanced photoactivity for GNPTO has also been discussed.
Gd, N, and P tri-doping; Hydrolysis; Photocatalysis; Synergetic effect; Titanium dioxide; TiCl4
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