Bactericidal activity of traditional titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst is effective only upon irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the potential applications of TiO2 for use in our living environments. Recently carbon-containing TiO2 was found to be photoactive at visible-light illumination that affords the potential to overcome this problem; although, the bactericidal activity of these photocatalysts is relatively lower than conventional disinfectants. Evidenced from scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman spectral mapping analysis, we found the interaction with bacteria was significantly enhanced in these anatase/rutile mixed-phase carbon-containing TiO2. Bacteria-killing experiments indicate that a significantly higher proportion of all tested pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri and Acinetobacter baumannii, were eliminated by the new nanoparticle with higher bacterial interaction property. These findings suggest the created materials with high bacterial interaction ability might be a useful strategy to improve the antimicrobial activity of visible-light-activated TiO2.
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