Visible Light Nanocomposite Photocatalysts


CALL: 2012

DOMAIN: MS - Materials, Physics and Engineering


LAST NAME: Lenoble




KEYWORDS: Visible-light photocatalysts, Nanostructures, Hybrid materials, plasma polymer

START: 2012-12-01

END: 2016-12-31


Submitted Abstract

We propose to develop a new class of visible-light nanocomposite photocatalysts. These will be constructed by layering metal oxide nanowires and metal nanoparticles in a graded plasma-polymerized matrix. The addition of metals and polymers to photocatalytic metal oxide materials extends the wavelength response to the visible region making it more effective for the degradation of chemical pollutants and other chemicals, including chemical warfare agents, using sunlight. We shall determine the effect of metal nanoparticle diameter, metal oxide-metal distance, plasma polymer properties and metal oxide nanostructure composition on the photocatalytic behaviour. The nanocomposite photocatalysts will be tested using several reactions: photocatalytic oxidation of mustard gas simulants, photocatalytic degradation of cationic dyes, and photocatalytic degradation of gaseous and aqueous pesticides.The proposed nanocomposite photocatalysts have many advantages over currently available titanium dioxide photocatalysts. They are flexible and can be employed to conformally coat a variety of surfaces, including clothing and vehicles. They can also be used in continuous flow systems. Finally, the use of metal nanoparticles introduces new reaction pathways, making this new class of materials more catalytically active than traditional TiO2 films. During the project period, 2 PhD (including 1 US) students will be trained in this important technological area. The PIs and other participants will be involved in exchange visits and a mid-term workshop during the project timeframe. Amy V. Walker (U.S. PI) will also participate in the PhD Nanobeams School. This will greatly strengthen research and educational activities between the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Centre de Recherche Public-Gabriel Lippmann (CRP-GL). This will position both the UTD and the CRP-GL at the cutting edge of inorganic/organic nanocomposite material systems via a “safe-by-design” approach. This proposal has been written to meet the requirements of both FNR and NSF.

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