Photocatalytic and antifouling properties of electrospun TiO2 polyacrylonitrile composite nanofibers under visible light

Chris Ademola Bode-Aluko*, Omoniyi Pereao, Htet H. Kyaw, Laila Al-Naamani, Mohammed Z. Al-Abri, Myo Tay Zar Myint, Arnoux Rossouw, Olanrewaju Fatoba, Leslie Petrik, Sergey Dobretsov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Polyacrylonitrile and its TiO2 composites were electrospun into nanofibers in N, N’-dimethylformamide for photocatalysis and antifouling experiments. The resultants nanofibers were characterized using field emission scanning microscope, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle analyses. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed the formation of polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 composite nanofibers with their diameter ranging from 10 to 340 nm. The x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results indicate the formation of O–Ti–C bonds on polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 matrix. polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 and polyacrylonitrile nanofiber surfaces showed superhydrophobicity with water contact angle of 155 ± 1 and 154 ± 1, respectively at 120 s. The photocatalytic properties of polyacrylonitrile nanofibers and polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 nanofibers were investigated under a simulated visible light source of 1000 W/m2 using methylene blue. About 90% of methylene blue was degraded within 3 h of exposure using polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 nanofibers while 55% methylene blue degradation was achieved for polyacrylonitrile nanofibers. Photoluminescence experiment conducted on both materials showed that polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 could produce OH radicals 10-fold compared to polyacrylonitrile nanofibers. Antimicrobial tests were conducted using E. coli and Bacillus sp. The results showed that only polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 under visible light hindered the growth of these bacteria with a greater effect on the Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus sp. The photo-degradation and microbial growth inhibition properties of polyacrylonitrile-TiO2 showed that the material could be used as an antifouling material under visible light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114913
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: B
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Antifouling
  • Nanofibers
  • Photocatalysis
  • Titanium (IV) oxide
  • Visible light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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