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ACS Nano. 2010 Dec 28;4(12):7303-14. doi: 10.1021/nn1024219. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

TiO2-graphene nanocomposites for gas-phase photocatalytic degradation of volatile aromatic pollutant: is TiO2-graphene truly different from other TiO2-carbon composite materials?

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College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, People's Republic of China.


The nanocomposites of TiO(2)-graphene (TiO(2)-GR) have been prepared via a facile hydrothermal reaction of graphene oxide and TiO(2) in an ethanol-water solvent. We show that such a TiO(2)-GR nanocomposite exhibits much higher photocatalytic activity and stability than bare TiO(2) toward the gas-phase degradation of benzene, a volatile aromatic pollutant in air. By investigating the effect of different addition ratios of graphene on the photocatalytic activity of TiO(2)-GR systematically, we find that the higher weight ratio in TiO(2)-GR will decrease the photocatalytic activity. Analogous phenomenon is also observed for the liquid-phase degradation of dyes over TiO(2)-GR. In addition, the key features for TiO(2)-GR including enhancement of adsorptivity of pollutants, light absorption intensity, electron-hole pairs lifetime, and extended light absorption range have also been found in the composite of TiO(2) and carbon nanotubes (TiO(2)-CNT). These strongly manifest that TiO(2)-GR is in essence the same as other TiO(2)-carbon (carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, and activated carbon) composite materials on enhancement of photocatalytic activity of TiO(2), although graphene by itself has unique structural and electronic properties. Notably, this key fundamental question remains completely unaddressed in a recent report ( ACS Nano 2010 , 4 , 380 ) regarding liquid-phase degradation of dyes over the TiO(2)-GR photocatalyst. Thus, we propose that TiO(2)-GR cannot provide truly new insights into the fabrication of TiO(2)-carbon composite as high-performance photocatalysts. It is hoped that our work could avert the misleading message to the readership, hence offering a valuable source of reference on fabricating TiO(2)-carbon composites for their application as a photocatalyst in the environment cleanup.

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