Modification of titania nanoparticles for photocatalytic antibacterial activity via a colloidal route with glycine and subsequent annealing
Changes in the colloid-chemical and photocatalytic properties of titania nanoparticles by attrition milling in the presence of glycine (Gly) and subsequent heat treatment were examined. By milling at 1500 rpm for 6 h, the average particle size was decreased from 123 to 85 nm, with simultaneous decrease in the specific surface area from 35.1 to 23.5 m2/g. Interfacial reactions between titania and Gly were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, from the blue shift of the COO related vibrational bands by 25 cm1, relative to the same band from the pristine Gly. The bimodal N1s x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy peak similar to that from the reported titania—amino acid complex is another indication of the complex formation with the participation of nitrogen. When the dispersion was dried and calcined at 500 °C in air, the powder exhibited pale yellow color. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy showed significant visible light absorption, suggesting nitrogen incorporation into titania. The fired product showed high photocatalytic antibacterial activity by irradiation of blue light centered at around 440 nm, using Escherichia coli as a specimen of bacterial species. Thus, the present Gly-modified titania nanoparticles could be used for eliminating indoor bacteria under soft blue illumination. The series of interfacial chemical processes involved are also discussed.