Modification of TiO2 by bimetallic Au-Cu nanoparticles for wastewater treatment

Zibin Hai, Nadia El Kolli, Daniel Bahena Uribe, Patricia Beaunier, Miguel José-Yacaman, Jackie Vigneron, Arnaud Etcheberry, Sébastien Sorgues, Christophe Colbeau-Justin, Jiafu Chen, Hynd Remita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Au, Cu and bimetallic Au-Cu nanoparticles were synthesized on the surface of commercial TiO2 compounds (P25) by reduction of the metal precursors with tetrakis(hydroxymethyl) phosphonium chloride (THPC) (0.5% in weight). The alloyed structure of Au-Cu NPs was confirmed by HAADF-STEM, EDS, HRTEM and XPS techniques. The photocatalytic properties of the modified TiO 2 have been studied for phenol photodegradation in aqueous suspensions under UV-visible irradiation. The modification by the metal nanoparticles induces an increase in the photocatalytic activity. The highest photocatalytic activity is obtained with Au-Cu/TiO2 (Au-Cu 1:3). Their electronic properties have been studied by time resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC) measurements to follow the charge-carrier dynamics. TRMC measurements show that the TiO2 modification with Au, Cu and Au-Cu nanoparticles plays a role in charge-carrier separations increasing the activity under UV-light. Indeed, the metal nanoparticles act as a sink for electrons, decreasing the charge carrier recombination. The TRMC measurements also show that the bimetallic Au-Cu nanoparticles are more efficient in electron scavenging than the monometallic Au and Cu ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10829-10835
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 28 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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