Sonochemical fabrication of mesoporous TiO2 inside diatom frustules for photocatalyst
Mesoporous titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been assembled inside the macropores of diatom frustules by sonochemical condensation of titania precursor, and then thermal treated at an elevated temperature. The resulting hierarchical macro/mesoporous-structures of the TiO2 inside diatom were confirmed by characterizations of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The amount of TiO2 inside the periodic macropores of diatom was controlled by varying the sonication time. It was found that the resultant composite with only 30 wt% TiO2 loading delivered a high photocatalytic performance, even better than that of pure P25. This is attributed to its hierarchical macro/mesoporous structure as it provides a large number of accessible active sites for efficient transportations of guest species to framework binding sites. Other macro/mesoporous structures with a nearly endless variety of functional chemistries and shapes are expected to be produced, leading to a range of novel applications in remediation, molecular transportation and environmental field by using this facile strategy.