Plasmon-Sensitized Silica-Titanium Aerogels as Potential Photocatalysts for Organic Pollutants and Bacterial Strains

Tiryaki E., Özarslan A. C., YÜCEL S., Correa-Duarte M. A.

ACS Omega, vol.8, no.37, pp.33857-33869, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 37
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acsomega.3c04556
  • Journal Name: ACS Omega
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.33857-33869
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Photocatalysis reactions are of great interest as an effective tool against the profusely increasing population of antibiotic-resistant bacteria species. In particular, the promising evidence on plasmon-sensitized titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysis inspired us to investigate their antibacterial activity stemming from the photogenerated reactive oxygen species (ROS). Herein, TiO2 nanostructures were grown in situ within a silica (SiO2) aerogel matrix with high surface area and porosity, and their ROS-related phototoxic effects against Escherichia coli bacteria were investigated under solar- and visible-light irradiations. Photodegradation profiles obtained from Rhodamine B (RhB) organic dye used as a chemical probe proved that the types of ROS produced by SiO2/TiO2 aerogels varied depending on the electromagnetic spectrum portion that was used during material irradiation. Further, the SiO2/TiO2 aerogel matrix was decorated with silver-gold nanostars (Ag@Au NSs) to enhance its photocatalytic efficiency under visible light irradiations. Our design showed that plasmon-enriched composite aerogels efficiently boosted ROS production under visible light exposures and that the structures containing Ag@Au NSs showed a much more effective antibacterial effect compared to their counterparts.