Highly anisotropic titanates from electrospun TiO2–SiO2 composite nanofibers and rice grain-shaped nanostructures
Sreekumaran Nair, A.
Jagadeesh Babu, Veluru.
Date of Issue2012
School of Materials Science and Engineering
We report a low temperature alkali-mediated conversion of nanofiber-and rice grain-shaped TiO2–SiO2 composites into highly anisotropic fiber (decorated with thorn-like features on surfaces)/sponge-shaped titanates of the formula Na2−xHxTi2O4(OH)2. The titanates were thoroughly characterized by spectroscopy and microscopy. Control experiments with the respective TiO2 analogues revealed that the unique open and highly porous morphologies were the result of structural rearrangement of TiO2 coupled with the in situ leaching of SiO2 from the composites by the alkali. Effect of concentration of the alkali and the reaction temperature on the morphology of the titanates was also probed. Evolution of the unique morphologies from the respective starting materials was studied by scanning electron microscopy analyses of the systematically withdrawn samples during the course of the reaction. The materials utilized in dye-sensitized solar cells showed excellent photovoltaic parameters amongst the category of titanates.
© 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.