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Lehigh University logo
Lehigh University logo

Tom Ebaugh

Synthesis and Photocatalytic Properties of Titania Nanobelt Supported N-doped Titania Nanoparticles

Departments: Computer Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Steven McIntosh

This research explores the two-step synthesis of a new titania nano-composite consisting of nitrogen-doped titania (TiO2) nano-particles on TiO2 nano-belts for solar-activated water purification. First, nano-belts with the B-phase crystal structure are produced via a hydrothermal treatment of anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in sodium hydroxide. This is followed by the simultaneous synthesis and deposition of nitrogen-doped anatase TiO2 nanoparticles onto the belts. Various routes for the addition of the nitrogen-doped nanoparticles to the belts are explored in an attempt to achieve a product with high surface area, good crystallinity, and appropriate nitrogen incorporation, which are essential for good photocatalytic activity. UV-Vis spectroscopy, XRD, and SEM are used to characterize and verify the correct structure and properties of the product. Nitrogen content will be verified by XPS and EELS techniques. The performance of this nano-composite will be evaluated by its degradation of methylene blue in the presence of visible light. This performance will be compared to standard TiO2 nanoparticles. Additionally, the performance of the nano-composite will be compared to the performance of just nitrogen-doped nanoparticles and just TiO2 nanobelts in order to show the synergistic effect of the composite.

About Tom Ebaugh:
Tom Ebaugh is a senior Chemical Engineering student at Lehigh University. Next fall he will be attending graduate school pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering. The areas of research in which Tom is most interested are materials and alternative energy; often these focuses are complementary. Tom has been working in Professor McIntosh’s lab at various levels of involvement since his sophomore year. In addition to his interests in Chemical Engineering, Tom has also received a minor in German. Aside from academics, Tom is a member of the Marching 97, KK? National Honorary Band Fraternity, and Green Action.