Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Xiu-Ren Bu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Myron Williams, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ishrat Khan, Ph.D.


This study are based on the premise that the incorporation of metal ions into nano titania-PHEMA [poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)] hydrogels would enhance the desirable properties in the photodecomposition of pollutants. The investigation are centered in the use of Cu(II) as metal ion of interest. The development of TiO2-PHEMA-Cu hydrogels was conducted, and the characterization of the materials by FT-IR, XRD and fluorescence was performed. The absorption of copper(II) from the solution was monitored by UV-Vis. The FT-IR are found too, be the most effective tool too, analyze the interaction of Cu(II) with PHEMA in the nanocomposite hydrogels. The free carbonyl group has the IR band at 1715 cm-1 in the TiO2-PHEMA. Upon uptaking Cu(II), the hydrogels showed a new band at 1595 cm-1. Further examination establishes the relationship between the two bands. The time-dependent study revealed that the intensity of band at 1595 cm-1 would increase while that at 1715 cm-1 would decrease as the time for uptaking Cu(II) increased. A concentration-dependent study also demonstrated the same trend that showed the intensities of the two bands moved in the opposite directions.