Search for content and authors

Synthesis of new TiO2/Ag2S nanocomposites and their photoactivity on the degradation of phenol

Rita S. Albuquerque 1Márcia C. Neves 2Maria H. Mendonça 1Tito Trindade 2Olinda C. Monteiro 1

1. Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and CCMM, Campo Grande, Lisboa 1749-016, Portugal
2. CICECO, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-016, Portugal


TiO2 nanoparticles have been intensely investigated as photocatalysts for environmental remediation processes, including the degradation of organic pollutants in waters. In this context, a critical factor to consider in using TiO2 is that due to its wide band-gap (bulk anatase, Eg = 3.2 eV ), only a small portion of the solar spectrum is absorbed by the photocatalyst. Therefore, several attempts have been made to conjugate TiO2 nanoparticles with light sensitizers, such as dyes or other semiconducting phases.

Here we present a first example of a TiO2 based photocatalyst containing Ag2S nanophases grown from a single-source. We will show, that silver (I) alkyldithiocarbamato complexes, in the presence of aliphatic amines yield the respective metal sulphide when subjected to moderate heating; in the presence of inorganic substrates, such as TiO2 particles, the metal sulphide phase grows over the particles surfaces. This method provides control over nanoparticle growth and substrate coverage in a one-step process, which is clearly advantageous to design new catalysts.

The TiO2/Ag2S nanocomposites are composed of a Ag2S nanophase evenly dispersed as islands that do not completely cover the TiO2 surface. For nanocomposites prepared for longer reaction times, the Ag2S islands spreads over the substrate and a less surface area of TiO2 is available in contact with the solution. As expected, a dramatic decrease of the photocatalytic activity of the TiO2/Ag2S nanocomposite was observed for such cases. Our results concerning the photodegradation of phenol using such nanocomposites, under distinct reacting conditions, will be presented and discussed in detail.


O.C. Monteiro thanks Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) for a pos-doc grant (SFRH/BPD/ 14554/2003). This work is supported by FCT, POCI and co-financed by FEDER (POCI/QUI/59615/2004)


Legal notice
  • Legal notice:

Related papers

Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007, Symposium A, by Olinda C. Monteiro
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007

Submitted: 2007-05-18 15:17
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44