Enhancing visible-light-induced photocatalytic activity of BiOI microspheres for NO removal by synchronous coupling with Bi metal and graphene
Abstract In order to further improve its photocatalytic activity, the BiOI microspheres were activated by a synchronous coupling of Bi metal and graphene under solvothermal conditions. The effects of the synthesis temperature (160–200 °C) on crystallinity, morphology, and photocatalytic activity were studied in particular. As expected, the ternary Bi-BiOI/graphene photocatalyst synthesized at 180 °C exhibited higher photocatalytic activity for NO oxidation removal under visible light irradiation than individual BiOI, and binary Bi-BiOI and BiOI/graphene composites. The photocatalytic efficiency for the NO removal of the ternary Bi-BiOI/graphene photocatalyst synthesized at 180 °C reached 51.8% within 30 min of visible light irradiation. The enhanced photocatalytic activity of the ternary Bi-BiOI/graphene photocatalyst is attributed to (I) the efficient transfer of photo-generated electrons from BiOI and Bi to graphene, leading to the effective separation of the photo-generated electron-hole pairs and (II) the surface plasmon resonance effect of Bi nanoparticles in the composite photocatalyst. Furthermore, the results of the scavenger experiments and DMPO-ESR spin-trapping measurements reveal that O2− radical species play the most critical role and holes serve as a secondary active species in the oxidative removal process of NO by 180BOI/GR composite under visible light irradiation.