Improved high-temperature stability and sun-light-driven photocatalytic activity of sulfur-doped anatase TiO2

Pradeepan Periyat, Suresh C. Pillai, Declan E. McCormack, John Colreavy, Steven J. Hinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Citations (Scopus)


Of the various forms of titania (anatase, rutile, and brookite), anatase is reported to be the best photocatalyst. The anatase-to-rutile transformation in pure synthetic titania usually occurs at a temperature range of 600-700 °C. High-temperature (≥800°C) stable anatase titania photocatalyst is required for antibacterial applications in building materials. A simple methodology to extend the anatase phase stability by modifying the titanium isopropoxide precursor with sulfur modification using sulfuric acid is presented. Various TTIP/H2SO4 molar ratios such as 1:1, 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, and 1:16 were prepared, and these samples were characterized by XRD, DSC, Raman spectroscopy, XPS, and BET surface area analysis. Sulfur-modified samples showed extended anatase phase stability up to 900°C, while the control sample prepared under similar conditions completely converted to rutile at 800°C. Stoichiometric modification up to 1:4 TTIP/H 2SO4 composition (TS4) was found to be most effective in extending the anatase-to-rutile phase transformation by 200°C compared to that of the control sample and showed 100% anatase at 800°C and 20% anatase at 900°C. The TS4 composition calcined at various temperatures such as 700, 800, 850 and 900°C showed significantly higher photocatalytic activity compared to the control sample. The TS4 composition calcined at 850°C showed visible light (sunlight) photocatalytic activity, and it decolorized the rhodamine 6G dye within 35 min (rate constant, 0.069 min-1), whereas the control sample prepared under identical conditions decolorized the dye only after 3.5 h (rate constant, 0.007 min-1). It was also observed that the optimal size for the highest photocatalytically active anatase crystal is ∼15 nm. XPS studies indicated that the retention of the anatase phase at high temperatures is due to the existence of small amounts of sulfur up to 900°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7644-7652
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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