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Title: An investigation of the photocatalytic properties of lithium niobate and barium titanate
Author: Stock, Matt
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 1778
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2012
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Efficiency of particulate semiconductors for driving photocatalytic reactions is impractically low due to the recombination of excited carriers and intermediate species at the interface. In the literature it has been demonstrated internal depolarisation fields in ferroelectric materials separate electron and hole carriers, this gives rise to spatially distinct reduction and oxidation processes. It is hypothesised this property can supress the rate of back reactions and carrier recombination to improve photocatalytic efficiency. In this thesis the properties of ferroelectric particulates for driving photocatalytic reactions are investigated. Lithium niobate and barium titanate powders were suspended in aqueous solutions of acid black 1 or rhodamine b dye. Adsorption studies compared retention of dye in the double layer by the different powders. Under UV or simulated solar illumination barium titanate or lithium niobate powders photocatalytically decolourised the dye solutions. Powders of lithium niobate powder doped with magnesium or iron showed altered reaction rates and structural selectivity of decolourisation reactions. Photochemical deposition of silver nanoparticles at the surface of the barium titanate or lithium niobate powders increased the rate of photocatalytic decolourisation of rhodamine b solutions under UV or simulated solar illumination. Photochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to form formic acid and formaldehyde over lithium niobate powder was studied under UV illumination. Solid-liquid phase reactions were carried out using aqueous suspensions of powder bubbled with carbon dioxide gas. Solid-gas phase reactions were investigated using a purpose built reaction vessels loaded with carbon dioxide gas and water vapour. Under solid-gas phase conditions the rate of formation of products over lithium niobate powder was greater than over titanium dioxide powder.
Supervisor: Dunn, S. C.; Dorey, Robert A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photocatalysis ; ferroelectric ; carbon dioxide ; dye decolourisation