Surface modification of sol–gel synthesized TiO2 photo-catalysts for the production of core/shell structured TiO2–SiO2 nano-composites with reduced photo-catalytic activity

  • Vahide Tizjang
  • Mehdi Montazeri-Pour
  • Masoud Rajabi
  • Maryam Kari
  • Shahab Moghadas


TiO2 nanoparticles have been prepared by a facile and reproducible wet chemical approach based on the sol–gel method followed by calcination at various temperatures and times. X-ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis/thermo-gravimetric analysis techniques were used to evaluate phase compositions and transformations during calcination treatment. Then, the silica coating of synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles has been performed by means of a route based on the Stöber process to fabricate core/shell structured TiO2–SiO2 nano-composites with the aim to decline the high photo-catalytic activity of pure TiO2 under UV light irradiation, while simultaneously maintaining its UV-barrier ability. The photo-catalytic property was evidenced by the degradation of an aqueous solution of methylene blue in UV range. The elemental composition of core/shell structured TiO2–SiO2 nano-composites was verified by using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, and in order to understand the atomic distributions, EDX elemental mapping has been demonstrated for optimum nano-composite sample. The chemical states of the atoms on the surface of synthesized TiO2 and in the coating layer of optimized nano-composite were examined by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis, and the presence of Si–O–Si and Ti–O–Si bands on the surface of nano-composite particles was further proved by it. In addition to the confirmation of coating of titania surface by silica layer with mean thickness of 4 nm via TEM image examination, the zeta-potential analyses also indicated that the silica sheath shifted the isoelectric point of synthesized titania toward that of a typical pure colloidal silica. Furthermore, the resultant optimum nano-composites have been characterized by BET, FTIR, FESEM and UV–Vis spectroscopy.


TiO2 Methylene Blue TiO2 Nanoparticles TiO2 Particle Pure TiO2 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The financial support of this work by the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF), Grant No. 90004426, is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahide Tizjang
    • 1
  • Mehdi Montazeri-Pour
    • 2
  • Masoud Rajabi
    • 1
  • Maryam Kari
    • 1
  • Shahab Moghadas
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Technology and EngineeringImam Khomeini International University (IKIU)QazvinIran
  2. 2.School of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, College of EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC)KarajIran

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