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Concept: Rutile


In a mixed solvent of water and ethanol, polystyrene/titanium dioxide (PSt/TiO2) composite particles of core-shell structure were prepared by hydrolysis of tetrabutyl titanate in the presence of cationic PSt particles or anionic PSt particles surface-treated using gamma-aminopropyl triethoxysilane. Hollow TiO2 particles were obtained through calcination of the PSt/TiO2 core-shell particles to burn off the PSt core or through dissolution of the core by tetrahydrofuran (THF). An alternative process constituted of preheating the PSt/TiO2 particles at 200[degree sign]C to allow partial crystallization followed by calcination or PSt dissolution by THF. The outcome TiO2 particles thus prepared were examined by TEM, and hollow TiO2 particles were observed. The crystalline phase structure and phase transformation were characterized, which revealed that preheating before the removal of the PSt core was useful to achieve the desired hollow TiO2 particles, and the calcination process was beneficial to the formation of anatase and rutile structures. The tests of TiO2 particles as catalyst in the photodegradation of Rhodamine B demonstrated that a much higher catalytic activity was observed with the TiO2 hollow particles prepared through calcination combined with preheating.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Enzyme, Catalysis, Solvent, Titanium dioxide, Rutile, Photocatalysis, Anatase


The prototypical photocatalyst TiO2 exists in different polymorphs, the most common forms are the anatase- and rutile-crystal structures. Generally, anatase is more active than rutile, but no consensus exists to explain this difference. Here we demonstrate that it is the bulk transport of excitons to the surface that contributes to the difference. Utilizing high -quality epitaxial TiO2 films of the two polymorphs we evaluate the photocatalytic activity as a function of TiO2-film thickness. For anatase the activity increases for films up to ~5 nm thick, while rutile films reach their maximum activity for ~2.5 nm films already. This shows that charge carriers excited deeper in the bulk contribute to surface reactions in anatase than in rutile. Furthermore, we measure surface orientation dependent activity on rutile single crystals. The pronounced orientation-dependent activity can also be correlated to anisotropic bulk charge carrier mobility, suggesting general importance of bulk charge diffusion for explaining photocatalytic anisotropies.

Concepts: Particle physics, Orientation, Titanium dioxide, Rutile, Young's modulus, Photocatalysis, Anatase, Charge carrier


In nanostructured thin films, photogenerated charge carriers can access the surface more easily than in dense films and thus react more readily. However, the high surface area of these films has also been associated with enhanced recombination losses via surface states. We herein use transient absorption spectroscopy to compare the ultrafast charge carrier kinetics in dense and nanostructured TiO2 films for its two most widely used polymorphs: anatase and rutile. We find that nanostructuring does not enhance recombination rates on ultrafast timescales, indicating that surface state mediated recombination is not a key loss pathway for either TiO2 polymorph. Rutile shows faster, and less intensity-dependent recombination than anatase, which we assign to its higher doping density. For both polymorphs, we conclude that bulk rather than surface recombination is the primary determinant of charge carrier lifetime.

Concepts: Density, Solar cell, Titanium dioxide, Rutile, Absorption spectroscopy, Surface area, Anatase, Charge carrier


Food-grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) containing a nanoscale particle fraction (TiO2-NPs) is approved as a white pigment (E171 in Europe) in common foodstuffs, including confectionary. There are growing concerns that daily oral TiO2-NP intake is associated with an increased risk of chronic intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis. In rats orally exposed for one week to E171 at human relevant levels, titanium was detected in the immune cells of Peyer’s patches (PP) as observed with the TiO2-NP model NM-105. Dendritic cell frequency increased in PP regardless of the TiO2 treatment, while regulatory T cells involved in dampening inflammatory responses decreased with E171 only, an effect still observed after 100 days of treatment. In all TiO2-treated rats, stimulation of immune cells isolated from PP showed a decrease in Thelper (Th)-1 IFN-γ secretion, while splenic Th1/Th17 inflammatory responses sharply increased. E171 or NM-105 for one week did not initiate intestinal inflammation, while a 100-day E171 treatment promoted colon microinflammation and initiated preneoplastic lesions while also fostering the growth of aberrant crypt foci in a chemically induced carcinogenesis model. These data should be considered for risk assessments of the susceptibility to Th17-driven autoimmune diseases and to colorectal cancer in humans exposed to TiO2 from dietary sources.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Monocyte, Titanium dioxide, Titanium, Rutile, Pigment, Titanium tetrachloride


TiO(2) nanospheres with diameters mostly in the range of 20-200nm are prepared by using cathodic plasma electrolysis at low voltage of 70V. It is found that the low voltage could efficiently depress the particle sizes and their distribution, and result in more anatase phases. The nanospheres have an excellent optical absorption from 240nm to 2600nm.

Concepts: Electron, Photon, Magnesium, Solar cell, Titanium dioxide, Chlorine, High voltage, Rutile


The synthesis of highly-crystalline porous TiO(2) microspheres is reported using ultrasonic spray pyrolysis (USP) in the presence of colloidal silica as a template. We have exploited the interactions between hot SiO(2) template particles surface and TiO(2) precursor that occur during reaction inside the droplets, to control the physical and chemical properties of the resulting particles. Varying the SiO(2) to titanium precursor molar ratio and the colloidal silica dimension, we obtained porous titania microspheres with tunable morphology, porosity, BET surface area, crystallite size, band-gap, and phase composition. In this regard, we have also observed the preferential formation of anatase vs. rutile with increasing initial surface area of the silica template. The porous TiO(2) microspheres were tested in the photocatalytic degradation of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the gas phase. USP prepared nanostructured titania samples were found to have significantly superior specific activity per surface area compared to a commercial reference sample (P25 by Evonik-Degussa).

Concepts: Oxygen, Chemical reaction, Oxide, Oxides, Titanium dioxide, Titanium, Rutile, Anatase


Six representative isotope-labeled samples of titanium dioxide were synthesized: Ti(16)O(2), Ti(17)O(2) and Ti(18)O(2), each in anatase and rutile forms. Their Raman scattering was analyzed at temperatures down to 5 K. Spectral assignment was supported by numerical simulation using DFT calculations. The combination of experimental and theoretical Raman frequencies with the corresponding isotopic shifts allowed us to address various still-open questions about the second-order Raman scattering in rutile, and the analysis of overlapping features in the anatase spectrum.

Concepts: Oxygen, Titanium dioxide, Titanium, Rutile


Understanding the kinetics of dye adsorption and desorption on semiconductors is crucial for optimizing the performance of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D) measures adsorbed mass in real time, allowing determination of binding kinetics. In this work, we characterize adsorption of the common RuBipy dye, “N3,” to the native oxide layer of a planar, sputter-coated titanium surface, simulating the TiO2 substrate of a DSSC. We report adsorption equilibrium constants consistent with prior optical measurements of N3 adsorption. Dye binding and surface integrity were also verified by SEM, EDX, and XPS. We further study desorption of the dye from the native oxide layer on the QCM sensors using tetrabutylammonium hydroxide (TBAOH), a commonly used industrial desorbant. We find that using TBAOH as a desorbant does not fully regenerate the surface, though little ruthenium or nitrogen is observed by XPS after desorption, suggesting that carboxyl moieties of N3 remain bound. We demonstrate the native oxide layer of a titanium sensor as a valid and readily available planar TiO2 morphology to study dye adsorption and desorption, and begin to investigate the mechanism of dye desorption in DSSCs, a system that requires further study.

Concepts: Adsorption, Oxide, Solar cell, Titanium dioxide, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Quartz, Quartz crystal microbalance, Rutile


Stable reduced TiO2 rutile nanorods with well-defined facets were prepared by a solvothermal route in the presence of Zn powder. The oxygen vacancy in the TiO2 nanorods, which can be tuned by the amount of Zn, results in a narrow band gap and visible-light photocatalytic activity.

Concepts: Solar cell, Titanium dioxide, Titanium, Rutile, Zinc oxide, Photocatalysis, Anatase, Band gap


Glycerol is selectively converted to hydroxyacetaldehyde (HAA) and H2 in aqueous solution on TiO2-based photocatalysts. The product selectivity was verified to be strongly dependent on the facets of TiO2. Rutile with high percentage of {110} facets results in over 90% superior selectivity of HAA, while anatase with {001} or {101} facets gives only 16% and 49% selectivity for HAA, respectively.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Titanium dioxide, Solutions, Aqueous solution, Rutile, Photocatalysis, Anatase