An effective method for the preparation of high temperature stable anatase TiO 2 photocatalysts

Rachel Fagan, Damian W. Synnott, Declan E. McCormack, Suresh C. Pillai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


An efficient, rapid and straightforward method for the preparation of nitrogen and fluorine (N, F) codoped high temperature stable anatase using a microwave pre-treatment is reported. Using a single source, ammonium fluoride (NH 4 F) for both nitrogen and fluorine, effective doping of the precursor titanium isopropoxide (TTIP) was possible. These samples were characterised for their structural and optical properties using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform IR (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and UV-vis spectroscopy. In terms of the anatase to rutile transition enhancement using a novel microwave assisted technique, the sample prepared in a composition of 1:8 TiO 2 : NH 4 F at 1200 °C was seen to be most effective, having stable anatase present at 57.1% compared to undoped TiO 2 being 100% rutile from 900 °C. This method involves the production of ammonium oxofluorotitanates (NH 4 TiOF 3 ) at low temperatures. The inclusion of these intermediates greatly reduces the particle size growth and delays the anatase to rutile transition. The photocatalytic activity of these materials was studied by analysing the degradation of an organic dye, rhodamine 6G as a model system and the rate constant was calculated by pseudo-first-order kinetics. These results showed that the doped sample (0.0225 min -1 ) was three times more active than the undoped sample (0.0076 min -1 ) and over seven times faster than the commercial TiO 2 photocatalyst standard Degussa P-25 calcined at 1200 °C (0.0030 min -1 ). The formation of intermediate compounds, oxofluorotitanates, was identified as the major reason for a delay in the anatase to rutile transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatase
  • Microwave assisted synthesis
  • Photocatalysis
  • Rutile
  • TiO2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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