Authors:Shi Xu, Sheng Li, Yun Wei, Li Zhang, and Fei Xu
Titanium dioxide (TiO2), polythiophene and polythiophene/TiO2 were prepared by sol–gel and solid-state reaction methods. Water-free iron(III) chloride (FeCl3) was used as an oxidant. The phase composition, morphology and the spectral properties of the products were characterized by XRD, TEM, UV–Vis and FT-IR techniques. The photocatalytic activity of the products was evaluated by the degradation of methyl orange under sunlight irradiation. TEM results showed that the polythiophene/TiO2 composite particles were well dispersed, rod-like shaped with 20 × 80 nm dimensions. UV–Vis analysis indicated that the absorption edge of polythiophene/TiO2 was 605 nm. Compared with the unmodified TiO2 and bare polythiophene, polythiophene/TiO2 exhibited largely enhanced activity for the photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange under sunlight irradiation. A degradation efficiency of methyl orange of 85.6% could be obtained within 120 min. The sensitization mechanism of polythiophene for the TiO2 photocatalyst is discussed briefly.