BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 nanocomposites: Effect of BiVO4 as highly efficient visible light sensitizer for highly improved visible light photocatalytic activity in the degradation of dye pollutants

Meryam Zalfani, Zhi Yi Hu, Wen Bei Yu, Mounira Mahdouani, Ramzi Bourguiga, Min Wu, Yu Li, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Yahia Djaoued, Bao Lian Su

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A series of BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 nanocomposites have been synthesized and their photocatalytic activity was investigated under visible light irradiation using the RhB dye as model pollutant molecule in an aqueous solution. The effect of the amount of BiVO4 as visible light sensitizer on the photocatalytic activity of BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 nanocomposites was highlighted. The heterostructured composite system leads to much higher photocatalytic efficiencies than bare 3DOM TiO2 and BiVO4 nanoparticles. As the proportion of BiVO4 in BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 nanocomposites increases from 0.04 to 0.6, the photocatalytic performance of the BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 nanocomposites increases and then decreases after reaching a maximum at 0.2. This improvement in photocatalytic perfomance is related to 1) the interfacial electron transfer efficiency between the coupled materials, 2) the 3DOM TiO2 inverse opal structure with interconnected pores providing an easy mass transfer of the reactant molecules and high accessibility to the active sites and large surface area and 3) the effect of light sensitizer of BiVO4. Intensive studies on structural, textural, optical and surface properties reveal that the electronic interactions between BiVO4 and TiO2 lead to an improved charge separation of the coupled BiVO4/TiO2 system. The photogenerated charge carrier densities increase with increasing the BiVO4 content, which acts as visible light sensitizer to the TiO2 and is responsible for the enhancement in the rate of photocatalytic degradation. However, the photocatalytic activity is reduced when the BiVO4 amount is much higher than that of 3DOM TiO2. Two reasons could account for this behavior. First, with increasing BiVO4 content, the photogenerated electron/hole pairs are accumulated at the surface of the BiVO4 nanoparticles and the recombination rate increases as shown by the PL results. Second, decreasing the amount of 3DOM TiO2 in the nanocomposite decreases the surface area as shown by the BET results. Moreover, the poor adsorptive properties of the BiVO4 photocatalyst also affect the photocatalytic performance, in particular at higher BiVO4 content. The present work demonstrates that BiVO4/3DOM TiO2 is a very promising heterojunction system for visible light photocatalytic applications.

langue originaleAnglais
Pages (de - à)121-132
Nombre de pages12
journalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - 15 mai 2017

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