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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2006, Article ID 90809, 6 pages

Nanocrystalline TiO2 with enhanced photoinduced charge separation as catalyst for the phenol degradation

1Department of Materials Science, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via R.Cozzi 53, Milan 20125, Italy
2Environmental Research Centre, University of Milan, Via C. Golgi 19, Milan 20133, Italy
3Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Cagliari, INSTM, SS554 Bivio per Sestu, Monserrato (CA) 09042, Italy

Received 15 February 2006; Accepted 23 March 2006

Copyright © 2006 Carmen Canevali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanocrystalline TiO2 catalysts based on pure rutile (R100) and a 30% of anatase and 70% of rutile (R70) were synthesized by the sol-gel method, using Pluronic PE 6400 as templating agent. Catalysts were characterized in terms of structural and morphological properties; moreover, the formation of paramagnetic charge carriers under UV irradiation was studied and related to the activity of TiO2 in the photoinduced degradation of phenol. With respect to Degussa P25, the two sol-gel catalysts show lower surface area and a wider pore size distribution. The EPR spectra recorded under UV irradiation show enhanced charge separation in the sol-gel samples, with the O species in higher amount than in Degussa P25. This result is in agreement with the high catalytic activity of R100 sample in the photoinduced degradation of phenol, very similar to that displayed by Degussa P25 and higher than that of R70 sample.