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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2011 Dec 7;13(45):20155-61. doi: 10.1039/c1cp22612f. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Mesoporous TiO2 nanostructures: a route to minimize Pt loading on titania photocatalysts for hydrogen production.

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Photocatalysis and Nanotechnology Unit, Institut für Technische Chemie, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Callinstrasse 3, D-30167 Hannover, Germany.


Mesostructured TiO(2) nanocrystals have been prepared using Pluronic F127 as the structure-directing agent. Platinum nanoparticles at different contents (0.1-1.0 wt%) have been photochemically deposited onto the mesoporous TiO(2). TEM investigation of 0.2 wt% Pt/TiO(2) calcined at 450 °C reveals that the TiO(2) particles are quite uniform in size and shape with the particle sizes of TiO(2) and Pt being 10 and 3 nm, respectively. The photocatalytic activities of the Pt loaded TiO(2) have been assessed and compared with those of nonporous commercial Pt/TiO(2)-P25 by determining the rates and the photonic efficiencies of molecular hydrogen production from aqueous methanol solutions. The results show that the amount of hydrogen evolved on Pt/TiO(2)-450 at low Pt loading (0.2 wt%) is three times higher than that evolved on Pt/TiO(2)-P25 and twelve times higher than that evolved on Pt/TiO(2)-350. Despite the BET surface area of the TiO(2)-450 photocatalyst being 3.5 times higher than that of TiO(2)-P25, a 60% smaller amount of the Pt co-catalyst is required to obtain the optimum photocatalytic hydrogen production activity. The reduced Pt loading on the mesoporous TiO(2) will be important both from a commercial and an ecological point of view.


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