Milling effect on the photo-activated properties of \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) nanoparticles: electronic and structural investigations

  • Youcef Messai
  • Bertrand Vileno
  • David Martel
  • Philippe Turek
  • Djamel Eddine Mekki


Commercial PC105 titanium dioxide nanoparticles were studied under mechanical milling process. The effect of milling time and speed on the structural and electronic properties of \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) powder was then investigated using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and UV–visible spectroscopy. The related photo-catalytic properties of the milled nanoparticles were probed following the degradation rate of methylene orange (MO) under UV-light irradiation and through EPR spin-scavenging approach. Comparison with pristine powder shows that milled nanoparticles are significantly less reactive upon illumination, despite decreased radius and hence, higher specific area. Such low yield of reactive species is attributed to the apparition of the amorphous \(\hbox {TiO}_{2}\) and brookite phase upon milling, as well as increased charge carrier recombination as pointed out by the presence of sacrificial electron donor.


Titania nanoparticles ball milling photo-catalytic properties photo-generated radicals electronic paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy 



This study was supported by the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and Université de Strasbourg. We gratefully acknowledge Dr Marc Schmutz for his kind help in the TEM experiments. The authors thank the French Ministry of Research and the REseauNAtional de RpeinterDisciplinaire (RENARD, Fédération IR-RPE CNRS #3443).

Supplementary material

12034_2018_1572_MOESM1_ESM.docx (425 kb)
Supplementary Materials: Supplementary material pertaining to this article is available on the Bulletin of Materials Science website ( (docx 426KB)


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youcef Messai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bertrand Vileno
    • 2
    • 4
  • David Martel
    • 3
  • Philippe Turek
    • 2
    • 4
  • Djamel Eddine Mekki
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Etude des Surfaces et Interfaces de la Matière Solide (LESIMS)Université Badji MokhtarAnnabaAlgeria
  2. 2.Institut de Chimie (UMR 7177, CNRS-Unistra)Université de StrasbourgStrasbourg CedexFrance
  3. 3.CNRS, Institut Charles SadronUniversité de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  4. 4.French EPR Federation of Research (REseau NAtional de RPEinterDisciplinaire (RENARD), Fédération IR-RPE CNRS #3443)StrasbourgFrance

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