Pristine C60 Photocatalyst

Pristine C60 Photocatalyst

Author: Veronika Belusa

Kyle J. Moor and Jae-Hong Kim, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, developed a simple route to create a fullerene-based photocatalyst which is capable of producing 1O2 in the aqueous phase. The catalyst is based on a SiO2 solid supported fullerene material to which the C60 cage is directly attached. The covalent immobilization was achieved through the nucleophilic addition of a terminal amine located on the solid support across a [6,6] fullerene double bond.

The fullerene material successfully produced 1O2 in water, inactivated MS2 bacteriophages under visible light illumination, and degraded selected micropollutants through 1O2 mediated oxidation. After successive cycling, the catalyst did not exhibit significant loss of photocatalytic activity.

According to the authors the photoactivity of the fullerene-based photocatalysts can potentially be improved through the use of nanoscale supports. This would provide greater surface area and fullerene coverage. Further studies on the degradation of micropollutants and viruses in natural conditions are necessary to test the catalyst’s feasibility.

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