Effect of Ag Co-catalyst on TiO2–Cu2O nanocomposites structure and apparent visible photocatalytic activity

Xianfeng Fan, Dávidné Nagy, Cong Chao, Bartosz Marzec, Fabio Nudelman, Maria-Chiara Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although Cu2O is a commonly used narrow band gap semiconductor to fabricate visible response photocatalysts, up to date there are only a few reports on Ag cocatalysed TiO2–Cu2O nanocomposites. Herein we report a facile wet chemical synthesis approach to prepare TiO2–Ag–Cu2O ternary hybrid nanomaterials. Uniquely,
both the effect of Ag content and the synthesis sequence of Ag deposition step was investigated on the visible decoloration rate. The crystal structure, morphology,
optical and dark adsorption properties of the nanostructures were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM and diffuse reflectance, respectively. Due to the mixed indirect
and direct nature of the nanocomposites, the band gap estimation was performed by using both Tauc plot and differential reflectance model. The dark adsorption
properties of catalysts could be typically well-approximated by pseudo-second order kinetics, while TiO2–Ag(5%)-Cu2O catalyst cannot be described by standard
models due to a delayed adsorption behaviour observed in the first 50 min. The apparent visible activities followed pseudo-zero order kinetics. It was found that
TiO2–Ag(3%)-Cu2O catalyst exhibited the highest rate constant which was ca. two times as high as that of the binary TiO2–Cu2O catalyst. The synthesis sequence of
the Ag deposition step significantly altered the material properties which resulted in different dark adsorption and apparent visible activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110175
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date25 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

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