Nonaqueous Strategies to Manipulate the Morphology, Phase, and Photocatalytic Activity of Monodisperse TiO2 Nanocrystals

2013 Spring Symposium

CCP Stu­dent Poster Com­pe­ti­tion Win­ner

Thomas R. Gordon
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Abstract – Control over faceting in nanocrystals (NCs) is pivotal for many applications, but most notably when investigating catalytic reactions which occur on the surfaces of nanostructures. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most studied photocatalysts, but the dependence of its activity on morphology and phase has not yet been satisfactorily investigated, due to a lack of appropriate models. We report the nonaqueous surfactant-assisted synthesis of highly uniform TiO2 NCs with tailorable morphology in the 1-100 nm size regime. Methods are described to engineer the percentage of {001} and {101} facets in anatase and to control the morphology and phase of TiO2 nanorods. The surfactants on the surface of the NCs, which direct growth of uniform particles, may be removed through a simple ligand exchange procedure, allowing for the shape dependence of photocatalytic hydrogen evolution to be studied using monodisperse TiO2 NCs prepared without any high temperature annealing. Such highly uniform nanocrystals may act as model systems to investigate the influence of faceting on a variety of processes under operating conditions.

Thomas R. Gordon

Thomas R. Gordon

Biography – Dr. Thomas R. Gordon recently earned his Ph.D in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Prof. Christopher B. Murray, after defending his thesis in February 2013, entitled “Directed Synthesis and Doping of Wide Bandgap Semiconducting Oxides.” He received a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics (summa cum laude) from Lebanon Valley College. Dr. Gordon is the 2006 recipient of the Dr. Judith Bond Endowed scholarship winner awarded to outstanding chemistry major attending a college or university in southeastern Pennsylvania. His research interests include the precise synthesis of nanocrystalline materials and their applications in catalysis, photocatalysis, and plasmonics. In June 2013, he will begin work as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Raymond Schaak at Pennsylvania State University as a member of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). He is the author or co-author of 9 scientific publications.