Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Rh-induced support transformation phenomena in titanate nanowire and nanotube catalysts.

PMID 23387804


High-aspect-ratio titanate nanotubes (NT) and nanowires (NW) were produced by the hydrothermal conversion of TiO2 at 400 K. The titanate morphology was studied by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The formation of ordered titanate nanoobjects depended on the time of conversion. Shorter synthesis times favored hollow nanotube production while during prolonged treatment the thermodynamically more stable nanowires were formed. Titanate nanotubes and nanowires were decorated by Rh nanoparticles. The structure and stability of titanate nanocomposites were studied by thermal gravimetric (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS), Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopic (FTIR), and Raman spectroscopic methods. The nanowires preserve their structure up to 850 K, while the nanotubes start to recrystallize above 600 K. FTIR measurements showed that the water and hydroxyl content gradually decreased with increasing temperature in both cases. XPS data revealed the existence of high binding energy, highly dispersed Rh species on both supports. A small portion of Rh may participate in an ion exchange process. Support transformation phenomena were observed in Rh containing titanate nanowires and nanotubes. Rh decorated nanowires transform into the β-TiO2 structure, whereas their pristine counterparts' recrystallize into anatase. The formation of anatase was dominant during the thermal annealing process in both acid treated and Rh decorated nanotubes. Transformation to anatase was enhanced in the presence of Rh. The average diameters Rh nanoparticles were 4.9 ± 1.4 and 2.8 ± 0.7 nm in the case of nanowires and nanotubes, respectively.