M. Popa, L. Baia, C. Ghica, V. Cosoveanu, M. Baia, V. Danciu
Titania based aerogels are nanoscopic pore-solid architectures with high surface area and a continuous mesoporous network fashioned from interconnected nano-quasicrystallites building blocks that make them attractive for various (photo)catalysis based applications . Besides the role played by the morphological particularities on their photocatalytic activity, the structural features also have a considerably influence. The doping procedure of TiO2 with noble metal ions directly influences the intrinsic properties of the semiconductor and extends its photoresponse into the visible domain providing thus a profound positive effect on the material’s photocatalytic efficiency . Our interest was directed to synthesize iron, copper and cerium doped TiO2 aerogels and to determine their photocatalytic performances. The morphological and structural particularities were further evaluated to explain the improvement of the photodegradation rate of the salicylic acid, as water test pollutant, observed for the copper doped TiO2 sample in comparison with the other metal doped TiO2 and the matrix aerogels. By correlating the morphological data with those obtained from structural analyses we successfully probe the changes induced on the nanometer scale by the dopants. References  N. Huesing, U. Schubert, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl., 37, 22, 1998.  V. Kamat, D. Meisel, Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci., 7, 282, 2002.