To extend the light absorption of TiO 2-based photocatalysts towards the visible-light range and to eliminate the rapid recombination of excited electrons/holes during photoreaction, a new type of photocatalyst (N-doped TiO 2) powder was prepared through a simple sol-gel process. The crystal phase composition, structure, and light absorption of the new photocatalyst were comprehensively examined via X-ray diffraction, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectroscopy, and atomic-absorption spectroscopy. The photo-oxidation efficiency of the photocatalyst was also evaluated in the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) and of phenol in aqueous solutions under visible-light irradiation from a neon lamp (λ > 400 nm). The results of the analyses that were performed in this study indicated that the N-doped TiO 2 could eliminate the electron/holes recombination and could increase the light absorption in the visible range. The results of the analysis of the UV-Vis diffuse reflection and optical-absorption spectra indicated that a new energy level below 3.2 eV generated in the N-doped TiO 2 promoted the optical absorption in the visible-light region and made visible-light excitation possible (E < 3.2 eV). The experiment demonstrated that the photo-oxidation efficiency of MB when N-doped TiO 2 powder was used was significantly higher than that when the conventional TiO 2 powders were used. The development of such photocatalyst may be considered a breakthrough in the large-scale utilization of solar energy to address the current and future environmental needs.
- N-Doped TiO