Nitrogen doping and carbon coating affects substrate selectivity of TiO2 photocatalytic organic pollutant degradation

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Abstract

A series of carbon‐coated, nitrogen‐doped titanium dioxide photocatalysts was produced and characterized. N‐doped TiO 2 powder samples were prepared using a sol‐gel method and subsequently used for making stable doped‐TiO 2 thin films on glass substrates. Carbon layers were coated on the films by a thermal decomposition method using catechol. Diffuse reflection spectra and Mott‐Schottky analyses of the samples proved that nitrogen doping and carbon coating can slightly lower the band gap of TiO 2 , broaden its absorption to visible light and enhance its n‐type character. According to photocatalytic tests against model contaminants, carbon‐coated nitrogen‐doped TiO 2 films have better performance than simple TiO 2 on the degradation of Rhodamine B dye molecules, but are poorly effective for degrading 4‐chlorophenol molecules. Several possible explanations are proposed for this result, supported by scavenging experiments. This reveals the importance of a broad substrate scope when assessing new photocatalytic materials for water treatment, something which is often overlooked in many literature studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemPhysChem
Early online date28 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2020

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