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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 106254, 15 pages
Research Article

Photocatalytic Properties of Tin Oxide and Antimony-Doped Tin Oxide Nanoparticles

1Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2Laboratory of Polymer Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3Research and Development Kriya Materials Group, Kriya Materials B. V., P.O. Box 18, 6160 MD Geleen, The Netherlands

Received 8 March 2011; Accepted 12 April 2011

Academic Editor: Huisheng Peng

Copyright © 2011 J. C. M. Brokken-Zijp 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.


For the first time it is shown that N-doped SnO2 nanoparticles photocatalyze directly the polymerization of the C=C bonds of (meth)acrylates under visible light illumination. These radical polymerizations also occur when these particles are doped with Sb and when the surfaces of these particles are grafted with methacrylate (MPS) groups. During irradiation with visible or UV light the position and/or intensity of the plasmon band absorption of these nanoparticles are always changed, suggesting that the polymerization starts by the transfer of an electron from the conduction band of the particle to the (meth)acrylate C=C bond. By using illumination wavelengths with a very narrow band width we determined the influence of the incident wavelength of light, the Sb- and N-doping, and the methacrylate (MPS) surface grafting on the quantum efficiencies for the initiating radical formation (Φ) and on the polymer and particle network formation. The results are explained by describing the effects of Sb-doping, N-doping, and/or methacrylate surface grafting on the band gaps, energy level distributions, and surface group reactivities of these nanoparticles. N-doped (MPS grafted) SnO2 (Sb ≥ 0%) nanoparticles are new attractive photocatalysts under visible as well as UV illumination.