A versatile kinetics-controlled coating method to construct uniform porous TiO2 shells for multifunctional core-shell structures

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jul 25;134(29):11864-7. doi: 10.1021/ja3037146. Epub 2012 Jul 5.


The development of a simple and reproducible route to prepare uniform core@TiO(2) structures is urgent for realizing multifunctional responses and harnessing multiple interfaces for new or enhanced functionalities. Here, we report a versatile kinetics-controlled coating method to construct uniform porous TiO(2) shells for multifunctional core-shell structures. By simply controlling the kinetics of hydrolysis and condensation of tetrabutyl titanate (TBOT) in ethanol/ammonia mixtures, uniform porous TiO(2) shell core-shell structures can be prepared with variable diameter, geometry, and composition as a core (e.g., α-Fe(2)O(3) ellipsoids, Fe(3)O(4) spheres, SiO(2) spheres, graphene oxide nanosheets, and carbon nanospheres). This method is very simple and reproducible, yet important, which allows an easy control over the thickness of TiO(2) shells from 0 to ~25, ~45, and ~70 nm. Moreover, the TiO(2) shells possess large mesoporosities and a uniform pore size of ~2.5 nm, and can be easily crystallized into anatase phase without changing the uniform core-shell structures.