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High-performance er3+-tio2 system: dual up-conversion and electronic role of the lanthanide

AuthorsObregón, Sergio ; Kubacka, Anna ; Colón, Gerardo ; Fernández García, Marcos
Issue Date23-Jun-2013
CitationFourth International Conference on Semiconductor Photchemistry (2013)
AbstractHeterogeneous photocatalysis is considered as a promising route to afford pollutant degradation as well as hydrogen production [1]. Nowadays, the research activity in this field is focused in the development of novel altemative materials capable to use of sunlight as the green energy source. Taking in mind this purpose, the applications of the up-conversion process by phosphor-like systems (e.g., NIR or visible to UV) would optimize the photocatalytic performance of traditiona} UV active photocatalysts, such as Ti02 [2]. In the present work, erbium-doped Ti02 materials were synthesizcd by means of a surfactant­ free hydrothermal method [3]. From the XRD results was observed that when the Er3+ doping increases, a and b lattice parameters of the tetragonal cell progressively increase. Taking into account the ionic radius value of Er3+ and Ti4+, it could be assumed that Er3+ could either replace sorne Ti4+ sites or occupy the interstitial site of anatase structure. From TEM images was observed a homogeneous distribution of roundish nanoparticles (-15 nm). The photocatalytic activity was tested by means of the liquid-phase degradation of phenol, methylene blue dye and for the gas phase of toluene. In order to distinguish the contribution of each region of the lamp spectrum, different experiments were carried out using UV and NIR filters. The best reaction rate was attained for sample doped with 2 at% of Er3+. From the combined use of photocatalytic and luminescence experiments, we suggest a dual-type mechanism which could explain the improved photoactivities in doped systems.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el Fourth International Conference on Semiconductor Photchemistry, celebrado en Praga (República Checa) del 23 al 27 de junio de 2013.
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