Titanate nanotubes (TNT) supported AgI nanoparticles were prepared by a two-step method: the deposition of Ag2O on titanate nanotubes from AgNO3 solution and the subsequent I-adsorption process from NaI solution. It is found that the supported AgI samples exhibited excellent photoactivity for the selective oxidation of benzylamine to the corresponding imine under visible light illumination and the photocatalyst can be used for many times without apparent activity loss. X-ray diffraction studies, transmission electron microscopy, diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy and nitrogen adsorption measurements were used for the characterization of the as-prepared and recycled AgI samples. It is found that under visible light irradiation, AgI partially decomposed to produce Ag/AgI nanostructure and thus stabilized. The photoactivity of supported Ag/AgI for the selective oxidation of benzylamine was studied in terms of the light intensity, wavelength, temperature and substituent. It is proposed that the formation of plasmonic Ag nanoparticles should be responsible for the high activity and selectivity.
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