Graphene TiO2 nanocomposites with high photocatalytic activity for the degradation of sodium pentachlorophenol

Yaxin Zhang , Zeyu Zhou , Tan Chen , Hongtao Wang , Wenjing Lu


Received November 15, 2013,Revised March 28, 2014, Accepted , Available online October 22, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 2114-2122

Aseriesofgraphene-TiO2 photocatalystswas synthesized by doping TiO2 with graphene oxide via hydrothermal treatment. The photocatalytic capability of the catalysts under ultraviolet irradiationwas evaluated in terms of sodium pentachlorophenol (PCP-Na) decomposition and mineralization. The structural and physicochemical properties of these nanocompositeswere characterized by X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption-desorption, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electronmicroscopy, Ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectra, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The graphene-TiO2 nanocomposites exhibited higher photocatalytic efficiency than commercial P25 for the degradation of PCP-Na, and 63.4% to 82.9% of the total organic carbon was fullymineralized. The improved photocatalytic activity may be attributed to the accelerated interfacial electron-transfer process and the significantly prolonged lifetime of electron-hole pairs imparted by graphene sheets in the nanocomposites. However, excessive graphene and the inhomogeneous aggregation of TiO2 nanoparticlesmay decrease photodegradation efficiency.

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