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Nanomaterials (Basel). 2018 Dec 25;9(1). pii: E26. doi: 10.3390/nano9010026.

Controlled Synthesis and Microstructural Properties of Sol-Gel TiO₂ Nanoparticles for Photocatalytic Cement Composites.

Author information

1
Departamento de Construcción, Infraestructura y Transporte, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Civil,Alfonso XII, 3, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28014 Madrid, Spain. elena.cerro@upm.es.
2
Departamento de Hidráulica y Ordenación del Territorio, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Civil, Alfonso XII, 3, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28014 Madrid, Spain. sara.garcia@upm.es.
3
Departamento de Hidráulica y Ordenación del Territorio, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Civil, Alfonso XII, 3, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28014 Madrid, Spain. marian.quijano@upm.es.
4
Departamento de Construcción, Infraestructura y Transporte, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Civil,Alfonso XII, 3, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28014 Madrid, Spain. fernando.varela@upm.es.

Abstract

Titania nanoparticles are intensely studied for photodegradation applications. Control of nanoscale morphology and microstructural properties of these materials is critical for photocatalytic performance. Uniform anatase-type TiO₂ nanoparticles were prepared by the sol-gel process using titanium isopropoxide as precursor. Controlled annealing up to 400 ℃ established crystallization and particle size ranging between 20 and 30 nm. Detailed thermal examination reveals that anatase phase transformation into rutile is affected by the annealing temperature and by the initial particle size. The anatase to rutile phase transformation occurs in the nanoparticles at 550 ℃. The Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF) study of the anatase nanoparticles shows a shift towards higher energy in the Ka Ti line of 10 eV, related to structural defects. These features were discussed in the photocatalytic behavior of several cement-based materials modified with the so-prepared anatase nanoparticles. The photocatalytic activity of the anatase-type TiO₂/cement mortar system is evaluated from the degradation of Methylene Blue (MB) under UV irradiation, monitored through the absorbance at 665 nm. The results show that the photocatalytic composites exhibit up to 76.6% degradation efficiency. Mechanical testing of the nano-TiO₂ modified cementitious composites evinces a moderate reinforcement of the strength properties at long ages.

KEYWORDS:

TiO2 nanoparticles; TiO2 photocatalysis; anatase; cement-based composites; microstructural characterization; sol-gel synthesis

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