Microwave Hydrothermal Synthesis, Structural Characterization, and Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activities of Single-Crystalline Bismuth Ferric Nanocrystals

Authors

  • Xinhua Zhu,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Qiming Hang,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Zhibiao Xing,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Yun Yang,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Jianmin Zhu,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Zhiguo Liu,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Naiben Ming,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Peng Zhou,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Ye Song,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science & Technology, Nanjing 210094, China
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  • Zhaosheng Li,

    1. Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Tao Yu,

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2. Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • Zhigang Zou

    1. National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2. Eco-Materials and Renewable Energy Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
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  • H. Chan—contributing editor

  • This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 10874065), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Project No. BK2007130), key projects from Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant Nos. 2009CB929503 and 2009ZX02101-4), the project sponsored by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry, and the National Fund for Fostering Talents of Basic Science (NFFTBS) (Project No. J0630316).

†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail: xhzhu1967@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Spherical perovskite-type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals with diameters of 10–50 nm and hexagonal-shaped sillenite-type ones with sizes of 18–33 nm were synthesized at low temperatures by microwave hydrothermal process. Their structural, optical, and photocatalytic properties were investigated. The single-crystalline nature of the as-synthesized nanocrystals was confirmed by X-ray diffraction, selected area electron diffraction, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations show that Fe element exists as the Fe3+ valence state, as well as Bi element as Bi3+ in the as-prepared bismuth ferritic nanocrystals. The visible-light photocatalytic activities evaluated by the degradation of rhodamine B in aqueous solution show that the sillenite-type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals exhibit higher photocatalytic ability than the perovskite-type ones, which can be ascribed to their small mean particle size and the unique hexagonal-shape morphology, and also the structural characteristics of sillenite-type compound. The present results demonstrate that the hexagonal-shaped sillenite-type bismuth ferritic nanocrystals can be used as novel visible-light-responsive photocatalysts for degradation of organic compounds.

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