Advanced photocatalysts based on reduced nanographene oxide-TiO2 photonic crystal films


Diamantopoulou A, Sakellis E, Gardelis S, Tsoutsou D, Glenis S, Boukos N, Dimoulas A, Likodimos V. Advanced photocatalysts based on reduced nanographene oxide-TiO2 photonic crystal films. Materials [Internet]. 2019;12.


Surface functionalization of TiO2 inverse opals by graphene oxide nanocolloids (nanoGO) presents a promising modification for the development of advanced photocatalysts that combine slow photon-assisted light harvesting, surface area, and mass transport of macroporous photonic structures with the enhanced adsorption capability, surface reactivity, and charge separation of GO nanosheets. In this work, post-thermal reduction of nanoGO-TiO2 inverse opals was investigated in order to explore the role of interfacial electron transfer vs. pollutant adsorption and improve their photocatalytic activity. Photonic band gap-engineered TiO2 inverse opals were fabricated by the coassembly technique and were functionalized by GO nanosheets and reduced under He at 200 and 500 °C. Comparative performance evaluation of the nanoGO-TiO2 films on methylene blue photodegradation under UV-VIS and visible light showed that thermal reduction at 200 °C, in synergy with slow photon effects, improved the photocatalytic reaction rate despite the loss of nanoGO and oxygen functional groups, pointing to enhanced charge separation. This was further supported by photoluminescence spectroscopy and salicylic acid UV-VIS photodegradation, where, in the absence of photonic effects, the photocatalytic activity increased, confirming that fine-tuning of interfacial coupling between TiO2 and reduced nanoGO is a key factor for the development of highly efficient photocatalytic films. © 2019 by the authors.


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