Synthesis of mesoporous TiO2/SiO2 hybrid films as an efficient photocatalyst by polymeric micelle assembly
Thermally stable mesoporous TiO2/SiO2 hybrid films with pore size of 50 nm have been synthesized by adopting the polymeric micelle-assembly method. A triblock copolymer, poly(styrene-b-2-vinyl pyridine-b-ethylene oxide), which serves as a template for the mesopores, was utilized to form polymeric micelles. The effective interaction of titanium tetraisopropoxide (TTIP) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) with the polymeric micelles enabled us to fabricate stable mesoporous films. By changing the molar ratio of TEOS and TTIP, several mesoporous TiO2/SiO2 hybrid films with different compositions can be synthesized. The presence of amorphous SiO2 phase effectively retards the growth of anatase TiO2 crystal in the pore walls and retains the original mesoporous structure, even at higher temperature (650 °C). These TiO2/SiO2 hybrid films are of very high quality, without any cracks or voids. The addition of SiO2 phase to mesoporous TiO2 films not only adsorbs more organic dyes, but also significantly enhances the photocatalytic activity compared to mesoporous pure TiO2 film without SiO2 phase.