Pinna, Alessandra and Lasio, Barbara and Piccinini, Massimo and Marmiroli, Benedetta and Amenitsch, Heinz and Falcaro, Paolo and Malfatti, Luca and Innocenzi, Plinio and Tokudome, Yasuaki (2013) Combining top-down and bottom-up routes for fabrication of mesoporous titania films containing ceria nanoparticles for free radical scavenging. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol. 5 (8), p. 3168-3175. eISSN 1944-8252. Article.
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Nanocomposite thin films formed by amorphous mesoporous titania layers loaded with ceria nanoparticles have been obtained by combining bottom-up self-assembly synthesis of titania matrix with top-down hard X-ray lithography of nanocrystalline cerium oxide. At first the titania mesopores have been impregnated with the ceria precursor solution and then exposed to hard X-rays. The X-ray exposure of the films triggers the formation of crystalline cerium oxides within the pores inducing in-situ nanoparticles growing with average size of 4 nm. It has been observed that the type of coordinating agent in the solution plays a primary role in the formation of nanoparticles. Different patterns have been also produced through Deep X-ray Lithography by spatially controlling the nanoparticles growing on the micrometer scale. The radical scavenging role of the nanocomposite films have been tested using the UV photodegradation of rhodamine 6G as benchmark. After impregnation with a rhodamine 6G solution, samples with and without ceria have shown a remarkably different response upon exposure to UV light. The dye photodegradation on the surface of nanocomposite films appears strongly slow down because of the anti-oxidation effect of ceria nanoparticles.
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