(82d) Fabricating Multicomponent Photocatalysts Using Atomic Layer Deposition
One way to boost the activity of TiO2(P25) particles is to deposit a small amount of platinum or gold on them. We show the effect of depositing small amounts (<1wt%) Pt or Au on TiO2 using ALD in a fluidized bed reactor. A disadvantage of using these noble metals are the high costs involved. The deposition of Cu2O on TiO2(P25) is a cheaper alternative to noble metals such as Pt to improve the photocatalytic activity. We were able to deposit Cu2O nanoclusters on the surface of TiO2 (P25) particles using ALD in a fluidized bed. Very low loaded Cu2O:TiO2(P25) (0.4wt% Cu) demonstrated a double photocatalytic activity for the degradation of several dye molecules compared to bare P25. An even cheaper and more stable material is SiO2. By precisely controlling the thickness of the SiO2 coating we were able to tune the photocatalytic activity from enhancement (<1.2 nm) to suppression (>1.2 nm) with an optimum activity at a coating thickness of about 0.7 nm.
Using the insights gained, we developed a new catalyst material by building up a material with a thin layer of SiO2 on TiO2(P25), followed by the deposition of Pt clusters to combine both componentsâ advantages. Pt:SiO2:P25 exhibited a further improvement in the activity for the degradation of Acid Blue 9 (6x better than P25), where the optimal loading ranges of SiO2 and Pt on P25 in the combined material are similar to the mono-modified materials SiO2:P25 and Pt:P25. This demonstrates that the combination of multiple materials opens the door to further catalyst improvement using ALD.