2018 Volume 58 Issue 6 Pages 1162-1167
Stainless steel has shown potential as a catalytic material in bulk form. However, it only becomes active in an aqueous acidic environment and elevated temperatures. This study aims to produce stainless steel nanoparticles that have high photocatalytic activity in a neutral medium and at room temperature and to elucidate the photocatalytic activity mechanism of the nanoparticles. Spherical, photocatalytic nanoparticles called “nanoballs” were synthesized by the submerged glow-discharge method. Stainless steel SUS316L grade wire was used as the cathode, platinum mesh was used as the anode while the electrolyte was potassium carbonate. The nanoballs were obtained after centrifuging and washing with water. The physical characteristics of the photocatalytic nanoballs were analysed by scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The nanoballs were mixed with methylene blue and irradiated with ultraviolet light for the evaluation of photocatalytic reaction. The photodecomposition samples were determined using UV-vis spectrometry. The by-products of the photodecomposition were evaluated using mass spectrometry. The results show that stainless steel nanoballs have photocatalytic activity when irridiated with ultraviolet light at room temperature. Submerged glow-discharge plasma method can synthesize nanoparticles rapidly using only metal wires as the electrode.