Metal-Free Porphyrin-Sensitized Mesoporous Titania Films For Visible-Light Indoor Air Oxidation



Transparent cubic mesoporous TiO2 films coated on soda-lime glass have been developed. A metal free meso-tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin (TPPS) has been adsorbed on these TiO2 films from aqueous solutions. The results indicated that the obtained mesoporous TiO2 and 3D TPPS/TiO2 films are optically transparent and crack free (thickness ca. 200±20 nm). The introduction of the TPPS molecules has only a very small influence on the pore system and some limited pore blocking seems to occur. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images revealed that the adsorption of TPPS does not disrupt the meso order of TPPS/TiO2. The particle size of these TiO2 nanocrystals has been measured to be approximately 5–8 nm. TPPS/TiO2 photocatalysts, exhibiting regularly ordered mesopores, large surface area (ca. 102.5 cm2 cm−2), and specific pore volume of about 0.1 mm3 cm−2, show improved light-harvesting efficiency as compared with other transparent TiO2 films. Employing the 3D TPPS/TiO2 photocatalyst, a quantum efficiency of 0.059 % has been obtained for the photodegradation of CH3CHO in the gas phase under visible-light illumination. Recycling tests demonstrated that the newly synthesized photocatalyst was quite stable during this gas–solid heterogeneous photocatalytic process because no significant decrease in photocatalytic activity was observed even after being used repetitively up to five times. Therefore, the newly synthesized transparent 3D TPPS/TiO2 photocatalysts can potentially be applied for low-cost air purification and self-cleaning applications.