Effects of alcohol solvents on anatase TiO2 nanocrystals prepared by microwave-assisted solvothermal method

Yu Chun Wu, Yu Chuen Tai

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of solvents on the anatase crystallite size prepared by sol-gel microwave-assisted solvothermal method were investigated in this study. Eight different alcohol solvents classified into two groups, i.e. primary and secondary/ternary alcohols, were used as reaction media and the effects of solvent properties, such as dielectric constant, boiling point, and internal pressure during the solvothermal process, on the crystallite size and shape were analyzed. According to the experimental results, selecting the solvent type allowed not only the alteration of the crystallite size but also the crystallite shape without the need of any additives. The boiling point of solvent was determined as the major factor influencing the crystallite size. Among the solvents with similar boiling points, the solvent with a higher carbon number produced the smaller crystallite size because of steric hindrance effect. In addition, the carboxyl groups dissociated from the alcohol solvent can play a role as a structural capping agent to retard the anatase crystal growth along the [001] direction and led to a rectangular crystallite shape with preferred development in {001} facets. On the other hand, the alcoholysis reaction was found easily occurred between the primary alcohol and isopropoxide that effectively limited the hydrolysis and condensation processes but also suppressed the structural capping effect. Therefore, the anatase crystals prepared in the primary alcohols became exceptionally small and showed spherical shape. Finally, the anatase crystals prepared using isopropanol demonstrated the highest photocatalytic activity due to its evident preferred crystallization in the {001} facets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1686
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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