Photocatalytic degradation of Azo dyes using doped Titania fibers

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Shanmugasundaram, Prasad
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
Photo-catalytic degradation using semiconductor particle as dispersion in aqueous medium has been gaining increased attention over the past several years. Their versatility in application makes them unique along with their easy processing techniques and low cost. Titania semiconductor is one of the most important members of this family. It has been widely used for various applications ranging from environmental to bio-medical. Titanium dioxide has gained importance as an effective photo-catalyst because of its advantages over other semiconductor oxides which include high photo-stability, inexpensive, reusable property, chemical and biological inertness, high reactivity, non-toxicity, corrosion resistance, operation at ambient temperatures and its ability to treat trace level pollutants. Its use as a photocatalyst is primarily because of its band gap of 3.0-3.3 eV which can be effectively activated under ultraviolet radiation (wavelength &#955; < 400 nm)23 , which leads to electron jump from valence to conduction band. This project aims at developing electrospun titania fibers doped with copper in order to study and demonstrate photocatalytic activity in the visible light spectrum, resulting in quick formation of holes which are ready to react with water to form -OH radicals. A comparative study of pure titania and copper doped titania for degradation of azo dyes were carried out. SEM, EDAX, XRD were carried out to thoroughly understand the structure of the fibers. The photocatalytic activity measurements for different dyes were noted using Uv-Vis method. The fibers when fully developed will be disposable photocatalytic materials for degrading dyes, Organic pollutants and for bio-medical applications when exposed to visible light.
49 pg.