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Assessment of oxidative visible light and UV active photocatalysts by hydroxyl radical quantification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sanjay Nagarajan, Nathan C. Skillen, Federica Fina, Guan Zhang, Chamnan Randorn, Linda A. Lawton, John T. S. Irvine, Peter K. J. Robertson

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A simple method for determining hydroxyl radical yields on semiconductor photocatalysts is highly desirable, especially when comparing different photocatalyst materials. This paper reports the screening of a selection of visible light active photocatalysts such as Pt-C3N4, 5% LaCr doped SrTiO3, Sr0.95Cr0.05TiO3 and Yellow TiO2 and compares them against WO3 and ultra violet (UV) light activated TiO2 P25 (standard commercial catalysts) based on their oxidative strengths (OH radical producing capability) using a well-studied chemical probe − coumarin. 7-hydroxycoumarin, the only fluorescent hydroxylation product of this reaction can then be measured to indirectly quantify the OH radicals produced. P25 under UV light produced the highest concentration of OH radicals (16.9 μM), followed by WO3 (0.56 μM) and Pt-C3N4 (0.25 μM). The maximum OH radical production rate for P25, WO3 and Pt-C3N4 were also determined and found to be 35.6 μM/hr, 0.28 μM/hr and 0.88 μM/hr respectively. The other visible light activated photocatalysts did not produce any OH radicals primarily as a result of their electronic structure. Furthermore, it was concluded that, if any visible light absorbing photocatalysts are to be fabricated in future for the purpose of photocatalytic oxidation, their OH radical producing rates (and quantities) should be determined and compared to P25.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
Early online date3 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Photocatalyst, Visible light photocatalysts, OH radical, Coumarin, P25

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