In this paper, we have synthesized electrospun TiO2 nanofibers embedded with bimodal sized and prismatic gold nanoparticles. The surface plasmons generated in the gold nanoparticles were used to enhance the performance of photocatalysis. The photocatalytic conversion efficiencies of these bimodal sized/prismatic gold nanoparticles when embedded in electrospun TiO2 fibres showed an enhancement of upto 60% over bare fiber systems and also show higher efficiencies than electrospun fibrous systems embedded with unimodal sized gold nanoparticles. Anisotropic bimodal gold nanoparticles show the highest degree of photocatalytic activity. This may be attributed to greater density/concentration of nanoparticles with higher effective surface area and formation of a junction between the smaller and larger nanoparticles. Such a bimodally distributed range of nanoparticles could also lead to greater trapping of charge carriers at the TiO2 conduction band edge and promoting catalytic reactions on account of these trapped charges. This enhanced photocatalytic activity is explained by invoking different operating mechanisms such as improved surface area, greater trapping, coarse plasmon resonance and band effects. Thus, a useful applicability of the gold nanoparticles is shown in the area of photocatalysis.
G. G., A.M., A., SIVAKUMAR N, A., B., S.V., N., and K.R.V., S., “Photocatalytic Applications of Electrospun TiO2 Nanofibres Embedded with Bimodal Sized and Prismatic Gold Nanoparticles”, Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2015.