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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Piyadarsha Amaratunga
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: Synthesis and Characterization of Monolayer Protected Gold Nano-particles and Design of a Gold-Titanium Dioxide Nanocomposite towards Photocatalytic Degradation of Environment Pollutants
Dr. Ekkehard Sinn, Chair
Dr. Dongil Lee
Dr. John Miller
Dr. Yirong Mo
Dr. Brian Tripp
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
1220 Chemistry Building
Semiconductor and metal clusters in the nanometer size regime display interesting optical, electronic and chemical properties that are size dependant. Highly monodisperse gold nanoparticles of different sizes have been synthesized and isolated by newly developed methodologies, using tiopronin as the capping ligand. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2) have been used as the photocatalytic center and gold nanoparticles have been attached on TiO2 to make a nanocomposite. According to the findings, gold nanoparticles play a vital role in enhancing the photocatalytic activity of TiO2, by facilitating the charge separation. Further, the photocatalytic activity can also be tuned by changing the gold loading on TiO2. The applicability of the nanocomposite has been evaluated towards the degradation of environmental pollutants.