We report the preparation and photocatalytic activity of TiO2 nanocomposites modified with monolayer-protected gold clusters (MPCs). Highly monodisperse tiopronin-coated MPCs with core diameters of 2.2 ± 0.2 nm were pre-prepared and then anchored onto a TiO2 surface using the bifunctional tiopronin linker. In this method, the gold core size was preserved after calcination at 260 °C as well as the anchoring process, and the gold loading on TiO2 could be precisely controlled by the experimental condition. The photocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine 590 (Rh-590) was carried out with thus prepared MPC-TiO2 composites. Mechanistic study of the photocatalytic reactions revealed that the degradation of Rh-590 occurs via the oxidative pathway by photogenerated holes. The photocatalytic activity of the MPC-TiO2 composites was found to increase significantly upon calcination at 260 °C, whereas the size of gold particles remained at their initial size. The photocatalytic activity of the composites, however, drastically decreased when the composites were calcined at 400 °C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis of the calcined composites was conducted to understand the vastly different calcination results. A significant amount of oxidized sulfur remained in the composites after calcination at 400 °C, which appears to be responsible for the drastic decrease in the photocatalytic activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry