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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2012, Article ID 928760, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/928760
Research Article

Synthesis and Characterization of CeO2-SiO2 Nanoparticles by Microwave-Assisted Irradiation Method for Photocatalytic Oxidation of Methylene Blue Dye

1Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2Advanced Materials Department, Central Metallurgical Resarch and Devolpment Institute CMRDI, P.O. Box 8742, Helwan 11421, Egypt

Received 12 March 2012; Revised 30 April 2012; Accepted 1 May 2012

Academic Editor: Pengyi Zhang

Copyright © 2012 R. M. Mohamed and E. S. Aazam. 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.

Abstract

CeO2-SiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized for the first time by a facile microwave-assisted irradiation process. The effect of irradiation time of microwave was studied. The materials were characterized by N2 adsorption, XRD, UV-vis/DR, and TEM. All solids showed mesoporous textures with high surface areas, relatively small pore size diameters, and large pore volume. The X-ray diffraction results indicated that the as-synthesized nanoparticles exhibited cubic CeO2 without impurities and amorphous silica. The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images revealed that the particle size of CeO2-SiO2 nanoparticles, which were prepared by microwave method for 30 min irradiation times, was around 8 nm. The photocatalytic activities were evaluated by the decomposition of methylene blue dye under UV light irradiations. The results showed that the irradiation under the microwave produced CeO2-SiO2 nanoparticles, which have the best crystallinity under a shorter irradiation time. This indicates that the introduction of the microwave really can save energy and time with faster kinetics of crystallization. The sample prepared by 30 min microwave irradiation time exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity. The photocatalytic activity of CeO2-SiO2 nanoparticles, which were prepared by 30 min irradiation times was found to have better performance than commercial reference P25.