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Controlled synthesis of hierarchically assembled titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanostructures is important for practical applications in environmental purification and solar energy conversion. We present here the fabrication of interconnected TiO2 nanotubes as a macroscopic bulk material by using a porous carbon nanotube (CNT) sponge as a template. The basic idea is to uniformly coat an amorphous titania layer onto the CNT surface by the infiltration of a TiO2 precursor into the sponge followed by a subsequent hydrolysis process. After calcination, the CNTs are completely removed and the titania is simultaneously crystallized, which results in a porous macrostructure composed of interconnected anatase TiO2 nanotubes. The TiO2 nanotube macrostructures show comparable photocatalytic activities to commercial products (AEROXIDE TiO2 P25) for the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB). Moreover, the TiO2 nanotube macrostructures can be settled and separated from water within 12 h after photocatalysis, whereas P25 remains suspended in solution after weeks. Thus the TiO2 nanotube macrostructures offer the advantage of easy catalyst separation and recycle and can be a promising candidate for wastewater treatment.

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Publication history

Received: 13 May 2014
Revised: 24 August 2014
Accepted: 25 August 2014
Published: 23 September 2014
Issue date: March 2015

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Heidelberg 2014

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

H. Li thanks the National Science Foundation of China under grant No. 51202042 and Y. Fang acknowledges the National Science Foundation of China under grant No. 21173055 for funding support.

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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