Synthesis and Photo-Catalytic Activity of Nanoparticles with Structure "Core/Shell": Fe3O4@SiO2@TiO2
In this work, the nanosized magnetic Fe3O4@SiO2@TiO2 photocatalyst was prepared by sol-gel methods. First the nuclei of magnetite nanoparticles were prepared by co-precipitation of iron (II&III) salts solutions. Secondly, the magnetite nanoparticles were dispersed in ethanol using sonication, and solutions of both ammonia and tetraethoxysilane were added to the suspension under intense stirring, since it was suggested that the introduction of an intermediate passive SiO2 layer between the Fe3O4 and TiO2 phases inhibits the direct electrical contact and hence prevents the photodissolution of the magnetite phase and deterioration of the surface photocatalytic properties. Finally, solution of tetrabutoxytitanium was added dropwise to the mixture of Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles under sonication & intense stirring. The resulting particles were separated using a magnet, washed and dried to constant weight, the yield was 70%. The photocatalytic activity of Fe3O4@ SiO2@TiO2 nanoparticles was investigated by photodegradation of methyl orange in aqueous solution under UV light irradiation. The photodegradation dynamics revealed that even though the oxidation rate decreases over time, about 90% of methyl orange is oxidized during the first 35 min.
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