Münevver Sökmen received her BSc degree in Chemistry at the Ankara University in 1986. She worked as research assistant at Cumhuriyet University (Sivas, Turkey) and got her MSc diploma from the same university. In 1994 she got a scholarship from Turkish Higher Education Council and started her PhD degree at the Sheffield Hallam University. After completing her degree in 1997 she worked as lecturer/research scientist in Cumhuriyet University. She is currently Professor for Analytical Chemistry at the Karadeniz Technical University (Trabzon, Turkey). Her main research topic include photocatalysis, catalyst modification, photocatalytic removal of organic/inorganic pollutants. Her 75 publications have been cited more than 4500 times (h-index:34 according to ISI) and her name is in the list of “Most Influenced Scientist List of Thomson Reuters” since 2014.
A group of novel azobridged phenolic iron(II) phtalocyanine (FePcs) derivatives which have peripheral or non-peripheral substitution on macrocyclic ring were synthesized. Complexes (defined as FePc-1, FePc-2, FePc-3, FePc-4) were used for sensitization of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanopowder to prepare photoactive composite catalysts (FePc/TiO2, 1% of the mass of TiO2) using wet deposition method. The as-obtained composite materials were characterized by SEM, EDX, UV-vis DRS and XRD. The results revealed that the FePc derivatives were successfully immobilized on the TiO2 and composed the anatase crystalline phase. Sensitization shifts the absorption band of TiO2 to the visible light region which meant the composite works with visible light. FePc sensitized catalysts were tested for the photocatalytic removal of 4-chlorophenol in the presence of H2O2. Photocatalytic experiments showed that the H2O2 assisted FePc/TiO2 nanocomposites achieved much higher degradation of 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) except for FePc-4/TiO2. The photocatalytic efficiencies of the catalysts follows the order: FePc-3/TiO2 (93.21%) > FePc-1/TiO2 (87.61%) > FePc-2/TiO2 (83.86%) > TiO2 (67.74%) > FePc-4/TiO2 (64.71%).
This study results show that low concentration of phtalocyanine is able to increase catalytic activity of photocatalyst TiO2. How molecular orientation effects the electron transfer and oxidative ability of the catalyst. These kind of photocatalysts are good candidates for technological application of water remediation using sustainable light sources.