Effect of thermal treatment on the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 coatings for photocatalytic oxidation of benzoic acid

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1758-1765
Journal / PublicationJournal of Materials Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


The effects of thermal treatment on the properties and photoactivities of TiO2 catalysts supported on 316 stainless steel plates were examined. Degussa P-25 was immobilized on 316 stainless steel plates by electrophoretic deposition. These TiO2-coated plates were heated at 473, 673, and 873 K for 1 h. The photoactivities of these TiO2 coatings were determined based on the removal of benzoic acid as the model pollutant. In particular, the photoactivity decreased by 52% in the sample heated at 873 K compared with the unheated sample. The results of x-ray diffraction showed that the crystallinity and the crystallite sizes of the catalysts supported on the plates did not significantly vary with increasing temperature over the range examined. Negligible change in the catalyst phase (the anatase-to-rutile ratio) was indicated from x-ray diffraction and micro-Raman spectroscopy. However, it was found that the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area of the scraped catalysts heated at 873 K decreased by nearly 13% compared with the unheated sample. In addition, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive x-ray and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses also detected the presence of Fe3+ ions at the surface of the supported catalysts heated at 873 K. The drop in surface area and the presence of Fe3+ ions at the catalyst surface, which were considered to function as electron-hole recombination centers, were possible factors leading to the drop in the photoactivity exhibited by the sample. A lower temperature for thermal treatment such as 473 K was proposed to ensure the coating stability and the catalyst photoactivity.