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Biography

Photocatalyst materials which are suitably stable often have large band gaps and can only be activated by UV light. Our recent research has involved the synthesis and modification of novel inorganic nanostructured materials in order to exploit their properties in visible light active photocatalytic systems. We have shown that self-assembled surface modification by organic molecules imparts trititanate nanotubes with stable, recyclable photocatalytic activity under visible light illumination. Using solid state NMR, XRD and Mass spec we have recently been looking into the arrangement of the organic molecules on the nanotube surface. We have also prepared titanium dioxide nanotube arrays by anodization for photoelectrochemical water splitting and modified them with Au and MoS2 for comparison.

Abstract

Photo-catalyst materials which are suitably stable often have large band gaps, and can only be activated by UV light. Surface functionalization by organic molecules is a mild, efficient and green method to alter the photo-catalytic activity of semiconductors. Our recent research has involved the synthesis and modification of novel inorganic nanostructured materials in order to exploit their properties in visible light active photocatalytic systems. We have shown that self-assembled surface modification by organic molecules imparts trititanate nanotubes with stable, recyclable photocatalytic activity under visible light illumination. Using solid state NMR, XRD and Mass spectroscopy, we have recently been looking into the arrangement of the organic molecules on the nanotube surface. Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) is a powerful analytical technique for chemical sensing of trace amounts of analyte, providing in-depth structural information. Once the molecule has been analyzed, in order to be reused, the surface molecule must be removed. Self-cleaning under UV or visible light is a promising method for this. We have incorporated photo-catalytically active titanate nanotubes with high surface area together with silver nanoparticles, rendering it SERS active, thus creating a self-regenerating SERS active nanocomposite material.

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