An innovative SiO2-PO43--TiO2 photocatalyst is presented which is able to bond TiO2 to Raschig rings (RR). Evidence for the formation on the catalyst surface of P = O stretching bands near 1200-1250 cm(-1) is presented by FTIR spectroscopy. The TiO2 Degussa P25 on the catalyst surface (RR) was further characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and X-ray diffraction showing that the composite catalyst prepared at 500 degrees C does not alter the particle size or crystallographic composition of the TiO2 Degussa P25 particles. The Ti- and P-distribution of the catalyst surface overlayers was obtained by Ar-sputtering eroding up to 100 topmost catalyst layers. By atomic force microscopy (AFM) the root mean square roughness (Rq) or rugosity of similar to 771 nm and an average height of the catalyst layer of 1.52 mu m were found on the glass surface. The root mean square roughness Rq varies very little in value before and after the photocatalysis indicating that the sample porosity is conserved during 4-CP photodegradation. The disappearance kinetics of 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) on the SiO2-PO43--TiO2 composite occurred within 15 min and was faster than the 45 min needed with suspensions of TiO2 Degussa P25 (1 g L-1). The SiO2-PO43--TiO2 photocatalyst was able to degrade repetitively 4-CP solutions without loss of activity. The effect of the light intensity, oxidant concentration and 4-CP concentration on the photodegradation kinetics was investigated and is reported in this study. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.