Table of Contents
Journal of Nanoparticles
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8037013, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8037013
Research Article

Synthesis, Characterization, and Photocatalytic Performance of Mesoporous α-Mn2O3 Microspheres Prepared via a Precipitation Route

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 23 October 2015; Revised 19 January 2016; Accepted 26 January 2016

Academic Editor: Raphael Schneider

Copyright © 2016 Manoj Pudukudy and Zahira Yaakob. 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

α-Mn2O3 microspheres with high phase purity, crystallinity, and surface area were synthesized by the thermal decomposition of precipitated MnCO3 microspheres without the use of any structure directing agents and tedious reaction conditions. The prepared Mn2O3 microspheres were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) and photoluminescence (PL) studies. The complete thermal transformation of MnCO3 to Mn2O3 was clearly shown by the FTIR and XRD analysis. The electron microscopic images clearly confirmed the microsphere-like morphology of the products with some structural deformation for the calcined Mn2O3 sample. The mesoporous texture generated from the interaggregation of subnanoparticles in the microstructures is visibly evident from the TEM and BET studies. Moreover, the Mn2O3 microstructures showed a moderate photocatalytic activity for the degradation of methylene blue dye pollutant under UV light irradiation, using air as the potential oxidizing agent.