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Nanotechnology. 2008 Mar 5;19(9):095606. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/9/095606. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Synthesis and performance of novel magnetically separable nanospheres of titanium dioxide photocatalyst with egg-like structure.

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Research Center for Combustion and Environment Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China.


A magnetically separable photocatalyst TiO(2)/SiO(2)/NiFe(2)O(4) (TSN) nanosphere with egg-like structure was prepared by a unique process that combined a liquid catalytic phase transformation method, reverse micelle technique and chemical precipitation means. The prepared photocatalyst shows high photocatalytic activity for the degradation of methyl orange in water. The magnetic property measurements indicate that the photocatalyst possesses a superparamagnetic nature. It can be separated from water when an external magnetic field is added and redispersed into water solution after the external magnetic field is eliminated. It is one of the promising photocatalysts for wastewater treatment. A transmission electron microscope (TEM) and an x-ray diffractometer (XRD) were used to characterize the structure of the TSN photocatalyst. The results indicate that nickel ferrite core nanoparticles were completely encapsulated into monodisperse silica nanospheres as carrier, and titania nanoparticle aggregates were coated onto the surface of SN nanospheres, forming an imperfect TiO(2) shell for photocatalysis. The SiO(2) layer between the NiFe(2)O(4) core and the TiO(2) shell effectively prevents the injection of charges from TiO(2) particles to NiFe(2)O(4), which gives rise to an increase in photocatalytic activity. Moreover, the recycled TSN exhibits good repeatability of the photocatalytic activity.

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