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Porous hollow TiO2 microparticles for photocatalysis: exploiting novel ABC triblock terpolymer templates synthesised in supercritical CO2

DOI: 10.1039/D1PY00334H DOI Help

Authors: Ryan R. Larder (The University of Nottingham) , Thomas Bennett (The University of Nottingham) , L. Scott Blankenship (The University of Nottingham) , Jesum A. Fernandes (The University of Nottingham) , Bethany K. Husband (The University of Nottingham) , Rachel L. Atkinson (The University of Nottingham) , Matthew J. Derry (Aston University) , Daniel T. W. Toolan (University of Sheffield) , Higor A. Centurion (University of São Paulo) , Paul D. Topham (Aston University) , Renato V. Goncalves (University of São Paulo) , Vincenzo Taresco (The University of Nottingham) , Steven M. Howdle (The University of Nottingham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Polymer Chemistry , VOL 28

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 23501

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) mediated dispersion polymerisation in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) is an efficient and green method for synthesising block copolymer microparticles with internal nanostructures. Here we report for the first time the synthesis of phase separated poly(methyl methacrylate-block-styrene-block-4-vinylpyridine) (PMMA-b-PS-b-P4VP) triblock terpolymer microparticles using a simple two-pot sequential synthesis procedure in scCO2, with high monomer conversions and no purification steps. The microparticles, produced directly and without further processing, show a complex internal nanostructure, appearing as a “lamellar with spheres” [L + S(II)] type morphology. The P4VP block is then exploited as a structure-directing agent for the fabrication of TiO2 microparticles. Through a simple and scalable sol–gel and calcination process we produce hollow TiO2 microparticles with a mesoporous outer shell. When directly compared to porous TiO2 particles fabricated using an equivalent PMMA-b-P4VP diblock copolymer, increased surface area and enhanced photocatalytic efficiencies are observed.

Subject Areas: Technique Development, Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Added On: 05/05/2021 10:24


Discipline Tags:

Physics Technique Development - Chemistry Soft condensed matter physics Chemistry Materials Science Inorganic Chemistry Nanoscience/Nanotechnology Polymer Science

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)