Novel (Ag,Y) doped TiO2 plasmonic photocatalyst with enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light
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University of Sfax-Faculty of Science-Laboratory CI, Sfax, Tunisia
Wannes Kallel   

FSS, route sokra km 3, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
Publication date: 2019-04-24
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2019;55(3):745–759
Nano-sized Y- Ag doped and co-doped TiO2 particles were synthesized using the sol–gel method and Ti(OBu)4 as TiO2 precursor. Their structural and optical properties were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), XRD, thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), FT-IR and UV-vis absorption spectroscopies. The photocatalytic activity of these materials was investigated for the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) as a model reaction under visible light irradiation. Ground state diffuse reflectance absorption studies reveal that both Y and Ag dopant cause deviations of the band gap to higher energies attesting that co-doping the TiO2 with Y and Ag could enhance the photocatalytic activity by delaying the electron–hole recombination by means of higher energy band gaps. Co-doping TiO2 at a level of 4% (Y, Ag) samples leads to a significant decrease in the crystallite size of photocatalyst and containing both anatase and Ag/AgCl components. However, the high photocatalytic performance is attributed to an efficient electron-hole pairs separation at the photocatalyst interfaces in addition to localized surface plasmon resonance of Ag particles. The development of these visible light- activated nanocatalysts has the potential of providing environmentally benign routes for water treatment.