Porous Hollow TiO2 Microparticles for Photocatalysis: Exploiting Novel ABC Triblock Terpolymer Templates Synthesised in Supercritical CO2

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.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D1PY00334H
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Urban Technology and the Environment (ASTUTE)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Funding: Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) for their support of this project, as part of the Low Dimensional Materials and Interfaces (LDMI) doctoral training programme (EP/N50970X/1)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioengineering,Biochemistry,Organic Chemistry,Polymers and Plastics
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://pubs.rs ... 1/py/d1py00334h (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-05-21
Published Online Date: 2021-04-22
Accepted Date: 2021-04-21
Authors: Larder, Ryan
Bennett, Thomas
Blankenship, Leo
Fernandes, Jesum
Husband, Bethany
Atkinson, Rachel
Derry, Matthew (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5010-6725)
Toolan, Daniel T.W.
Centurion, Higor
Topham, Paul (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-6976)
Goncalves, Renato
Taresco, Vincenzo
Howdle, Steven M.

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