WJNSE  Vol.5 No.4 , December 2015
Titania-Silica Composites: A Review on the Photocatalytic Activity and Synthesis Methods
The photocatalyic activity of titania is a very promising mechanism that has many possible applications like purification of air and water [1]-[4]. To make it even more attractive, titania can be combined with silica to increase the photocatalytic efficiency and durability of the photocatalytic material, while lowering the production costs [1]. In this article, relevant literature is reviewed to obtain an overview about the chemistry and physics behind some of the different parameters that lead to cost-effective photocatalytic titania-silica composites. The first part of this review deals with the mechanisms involved in the photocatalytic activity, then the chemistry behind certain methods for the synthesis of the titania-silica composites is discussed, and in the last and third part of this review, the influence of silica supports on titania is discussed. These three sections represent three different fields of research that are combined in this review to obtain better insights on the photocatalytic titania-silica composites. While many research subjects in these fields have been well known for some time now, some subjects are only more recently resolved and some subjects are still under discussion (e.g. the cause for the increased hydrophilic surface of titania after illumination). This article aims to review the most important literature to give an overview of the current situation of the fundamentals of photocatalysis and synthesis of the cost-effective photocatalyic composites. It is found that the most cost-effective photocatalytic titania-silica composites are the ones that have a thin anatase layer coated on silica with a large specific surface area, and are prepared with the precipitation or sol-gel methods.

Cite this paper
Hendrix, Y. , Lazaro, A. , Yu, Q. and Brouwers, J. (2015) Titania-Silica Composites: A Review on the Photocatalytic Activity and Synthesis Methods. World Journal of Nano Science and Engineering, 5, 161-177. doi: 10.4236/wjnse.2015.54018.
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