RSC Adv., 2015,5,9727

Synthesis of dual type Fe species supported
mesostructured silica nanoparticles: synergistical
effects in photocatalytic activity†

Dual type Fe species (isomorphously substituted Fe species and a colloidal a-FeOOH (IS-FeOOH))
supported on mesostructured silica nanoparticles (IS-FeOOH/MSN) were prepared by a simple
electrochemical method followed by impregnation. Characterization was conducted using X-ray
diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, surface area analysis, Fourier-transform infrared
spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, and X-ray photoelectron
spectroscopy. The results suggested that silica removal occurred in the MSN framework to
isomorphously substitute Fe cations while retaining the colloidal structure of IS-FeOOH. The catalytic
activity of IS-FeOOH/MSN was tested on photo-Fenton-like degradation of 2-chlorophenol under
fluorescent light irradiation. The performance of the catalyst was in the following order: 10 wt% ISFeOOH/
MSN > 15 wt% IS-FeOOH/MSN > 5 wt% IS-FeOOH/MSN > MSN, with removal percentages of
92.2, 79.3, 73.1, and 14.2%, respectively. The results suggest that a synergistic effect between the dual
type of Fe species (Si–O–Fe and IS-FeOOH colloid) and MSN played important roles in enhancing the
degradation. The results provide strong evidence to support the potential use of IS-FeOOH/MSN as a
photo-Fenton-like nanocatalyst for organic pollutants treatment.