Mesoporous TiO2 encapsulating a visible-light responsive upconversion agent for enhanced sonocatalytic degradation of bisphenol-A

Pengpeng Qiu, Binota Thokchom, Jongbok Choi, Mingcan Cui, Hong Dae Kim, Zhengchang Han, Dukmin Kim, Jeehyeong Khim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, we report the integration of a visible-light active upconversion agent (Er:Y2O3) with mesoporous TiO2via a modified two-step sol-gel coating method. The resultant material possesses a well-defined core-shell structure with a good upconversion property and exhibits uniform worm-like mesopores (∼3.8 nm), a high BET surface area (∼151.5 m2 g-1) and a large pore volume (∼0.23 cm3 g-1). The composite was demonstrated as an advanced sonocatalyst, showing a superior degradation performance for bisphenol-A (BPA). The effect of the erbium dopant content on the upconversion property and sonocatalytic performance was evaluated for the production of the best sonocatalyst. We found that the maximum pseudo first-order reaction rate constant in the presence of the composite with an Er3+ content of 3 wt% in Y2O3 nanocrystals is calculated to be 0.155 min-1, which is 2.9 and 2 times larger than that of US alone (0.054 min-1) and hollow structured mesoporous TiO2 (0.077 min-1), respectively. More importantly, the degradation rate is much higher than that of the sonocatalysts reported previously for treatment of BPA (0.09-0.14 min-1). The superior catalytic activity can be attributed to an intensified cavitation reaction zone and an enhanced amount of photo-generated charges. Moreover, the recycling test shows that a constant catalytic activity is retained even after 4 cycles. This study paves a promising way for the development of a multi-functional catalyst for sonochemical processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37434-37442
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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