Visible-Light Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue Using SnO2/α-Fe2O3 Hierarchical Nanoheterostructures

Authors

  • Shouwei Zhang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 1126, 230031 Hefei (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 551-5591310
    2. School of Material Science and Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230031 (P. R. China)
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  • Dr. Jiaxing Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 1126, 230031 Hefei (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 551-5591310
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  • Haihong Niu,

    1. School of Material Science and Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230031 (P. R. China)
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  • Dr. Wenqing Xu,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (USA)
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  • Prof. Jinzhang Xu,

    1. School of Material Science and Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230031 (P. R. China)
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  • Prof. Wenping Hu,

    1. Organic Solids, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190 (P. R. China)
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  • Prof. Xiangke Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 1126, 230031 Hefei (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 551-5591310
    • Key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 1126, 230031 Hefei (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 551-5591310
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Abstract

Three-dimensional SnO2/α-Fe2O3 semiconductor hierarchical nanoheterostructures were synthesized for photocatalysis through a low-cost and environmentally friendly hydrothermal strategy, by crystallographic-oriented epitaxial growth of SnO2 on three-dimensional α-Fe2O3 flowerlike hierarchical nanostructures. In this photocatalyst, visible-light-active Fe2O3 flowerlike hierarchical nanostructures were used as a medium to absorb photons and convert them into photogenerated charges, and SnO2 nanoparticles were used as charge collectors to transport the photogenerated charges. The SnO2/α-Fe2O3 semiconductor hierarchical nanoheterostructures exhibited excellent visible-light photocatalytic ability for the degradation of methylene blue; this was attributed to the large specific surface area, wide visible-light absorption range, and efficient electron–hole pair separation properties of the SnO2/α-Fe2O3 nanoheterostructures. The SnO2/α-Fe2O3 material showed improved separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs owing to the potential-energy differences between SnO2 and α-Fe2O3, and therefore exhibited enhanced photocatalytic activity. This paper highlights the SnO2/α-Fe2O3 semiconductor hierarchical nanoheterostructures as potentially more environmentally friendly materials for use in organic pollutant degradation for environmental pollution cleanup operations.

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