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Environ Sci Technol. 2006 Nov 15;40(22):7029-33.

Photocatalytic degradation of gaseous organic species on photonic band-gap titania.

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  • 1Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-7303, USA.


The use of photonic band gap (PBG) titania (inverse opal) for the photocatalytic degradation of an organic chemical in air is demonstrated in this study using 1,2-dichlorobenzene. A photonic band gap in the mid-to-high ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range (280-380 nm), normally associated with the optimal photocatalytic activity of anatase titania, is expected to increase the quantum efficiency for the catalyst. To achieve this band gap, porous structures with alternating air and titania spaces with a periodicity of about 150 nm is required. A thin film of porous photonic titania was synthesized in-situ on a quartz glass rod with a sol-gel technique using polystyrene micro-spheres as templates. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed a pore size of about 100 nm and a periodicity of approximately 150 nm, necessary for the desired band gap. X-ray diffraction studies of the coating showed the presence of anatase titania, which is known to exhibit photoactivity. The photocatalytic activity of the coated titania film was verified by measuring the degradation of 1,2-dichlorobenzene vapor in a semi-batch mode in the presence of UV radiation (mid-high UV wavelength) PBG titania showed 248% higher photonic efficiency compared to commercially available P25 titania catalyst. Transmission spectra from the thin films showed high absorbance in the UV range, suggesting a band gap in the region of UV illumination.

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