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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011, Article ID 239289, 8 pages
Research Article

Characterization and Photocatalytic Activity of Enhanced Copper-Silica-Loaded Titania Prepared via Hydrothermal Method

School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai Selatan, 14300 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Received 11 March 2011; Revised 24 May 2011; Accepted 13 July 2011

Academic Editor: Edward Andrew Payzant

Copyright © 2011 Ramarao Poliah and Srimala Sreekantan. 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.


TiO2 nanopowder, loaded with SiO2 and Cu-SiO2, was prepared under both acidic and basic environments via the hydrothermal method. The morphology and structure of TiO2 were studied by XRD, TEM, and FT-IR. The photocatalytic activity of samples was studied by monitoring the degradation of methyl orange, using a UV-visible spectrophotometer. The effect of Ti/Si ratio, pH, and Cu2+ addition on the formation of TiO2 and its photocatalytic activity was investigated in detail. The results show that a large surface area and a high surface acidity were important factors to achieve good TiO2 performance. The presence of Ti-O-Si bonding enhanced surface acidity, which improved its ability to adsorb more hydroxyl radicals and increased its surface area. The addition of 0.1 mol% concentration of Cu2+ and 25 mol% SiO2 in TiO2 induced the formation of new states close to the conduction band, which narrowed the band gap energy and enhanced the photodegradation efficiency.