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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 902491, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/902491
Research Article

Synthesis and Characterization of Electrospun Nanocomposite T i O 𝟐 Nanofibers with Ag Nanoparticles for Photocatalysis Applications

Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Department, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD 57701, USA

Received 18 October 2011; Accepted 9 November 2011

Academic Editor: Titipun Thongtem

Copyright © 2012 Srujan Mishra and S. Phillip Ahrenkiel. 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

Polycrystalline mixed-phase TiO2 nanofibers embedded with 2.0% w/v Ag nanoparticles was prepared by the electrospinning technique. Calcination of dry Ag nanoparticles-titanium (IV) isopropoxide/PVP electrospun nanofiber mats in air at 5 1 0 C for 24 h yielded polycrystalline TiO2/Ag nanofibers. The morphology and distribution of silver nanoparticles were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning TEM (STEM), and high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) imaging. Mixed-phase anatase and rutile TiO2 nanofibers were produced with Ag nanoparticles. High-resolution TEM lattice-fringe measurements showed good agreement with Ag (111), anatase (101), and rutile (110) phases. The photocatalytic activity of TiO2/Ag nanofibers was compared to the photocatalytic activity of pure TiO2 nanofibers by studying the photodegradation of methyl red dye under UV light irradiation, in a photoreactor. UV-visible absorbance spectra showed that the rate of decay of the dye in case of photodegradation by TiO2/Ag nanofibers was 10.3 times higher than that by pure TiO2 nanofibers. The retaining of the fiber morphology along with the increased surface area due to the addition of Ag nanoparticles can be believed to enhance the photocatalytic oxidation of methyl red dye.