Highly ordered mesoporous niobium-doped TiO2 with a single-crystalline framework was prepared by using silica colloidal crystals with ca. 30 nm in diameter as templates. The preparation of colloidal crystals composed of uniform silica nanoparticles is a key to obtain highly ordered mesoporous Nb-doped TiO2. The XPS measurements of Nb-doped TiO2 showed the presence of Nb5+ and correspondingly Ti3+. With the increase in the amount of doped Nb, the crystalline phase of the product was converted from rutile into anatase, and the lattice spacings of both rutile and anatase phases increased. Surprisingly, the increase in the amount of Nb led to the formation of plate-like TiO2 with dimpled surfaces on one side, which was directly replicated from the surfaces of the colloidal silica crystals.
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