Synthesis of α-Fe 2 O three /Bi 2 WO 6 layered heterojunctions by in situ development technique with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic exercise

Construction and morphology

The crystal construction and section composition of those samples had been detected by XRD evaluation (Fig. 1a). For pure Bi2WO6, distinct diffraction peaks at 28.5°, 32.eight°, 47.1°, 55.7°, 58.5° and 75.eight° had been completely comparable to (131), (200), (202), (133), (262) and (391) crystallographic planes (PDF#39-0256)27, respectively. As well as, all of the diffraction peaks of pure α-Fe2O3 (see Fig. S2) had been in good settlement with these for hematite (PDF#33-0664)28. The depth of the diffraction peaks of α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites was stronger than that of pure Bi2WO6 (see Fig. 1a), which could possibly be ascribed to the expansion of crystals throughout the hydrothermal course of. It was noteworthy that no peaks of α-Fe2O3 had been noticed for α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite photocatalysts, which can be ascribed to the excessive dispersion and low content material of α-Fe2O329. Furthermore, a shift to decrease 2θ worth of the band associated to (131) lattice aircraft for α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 could possibly be noticed (Fig. 1b). Primarily based on Bragg’s regulation, this reality verified the slight enlargement of the interplanar spacing associated to Bi2WO630. Based on the reference31, the rise in d spacing of Bi2WO6 could possibly be attributed to the partial substitution of Bi websites by Fe ions. From this viewpoint, it was confirmed that there existed sturdy interplay between α-Fe2O3 and Bi2WO6. Related outcomes had been additionally reported by the reference25.

Determine 1Figure 1

(a) XRD patterns of pure Bi2WO6 and Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites. (b) Enlargement of XRD peaks in lattice (131) aircraft.

Raman spectra had been additionally collected to additional analyze the section construction of photocatalysts. In Fig. 2, the peaks within the 60–160 cm−1, 200–400 cm−1 and 600–1000 cm−1 areas could possibly be assigned to translational motions of Bi3+ and W6+, WO6 bending modes and Bi-O stretching and bending modes, and W–O bands stretching modes32, respectively. Intimately, the bands at about 95 cm−1 and 305 cm−1 had been related to translational modes involving simultaneous motions of Bi3+ and WO66,7,eight,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33. The height at about 710 cm−1 could possibly be ascribed to an antisymmetric bridging mode of the tungstate chain33,34. Two bands at about 790 cm−1 and 820 cm−1 matched effectively with antisymmetric and symmetric Ag modes of terminal O–W–O teams33,35. No Raman vibrational peaks of α-Fe2O3 had been detected, which can be on account of a decrease α-Fe2O3 loading29. As illustrated in Fig. 2a,b, three bands at 95 cm−1, 305 cm−1 and 790 cm−1 of the α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites migrated to greater wave numbers, indicating the in situ development of α-Fe2O3 on Bi2WO6 crystal had an affect on the section construction of Bi2WO6. This discovering fitted effectively with the outcomes obtained from XRD characterization above.

Determine 2Figure 2

Raman spectra for pure Bi2WO6 and Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites within the vary of (a) 50–500 cm−1 and (b) 500–1000 cm−1.

The microstructure and morphology of the obtained samples had been visualized by SEM, TEM and HR-TEM measurements. Determine three confirmed the SEM photographs of pure Bi2WO6, pure α-Fe2O3 and four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite, respectively. It could possibly be clearly seen that the geometric form of pure Bi2WO6 was a laminated construction (Fig. 3a,b). Pure α-Fe2O3 had a uniform and hexagonal nanoplate construction (Fig. 3c,d). No vital change could possibly be noticed within the SEM photographs of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite (Fig. 3e,f) in contrast with that of pure Bi2WO6, indicating the ready course of hardly broken the origin layered construction of pure Bi2WO6. Moreover, no hexagonal nanoplate construction of α-Fe2O3 could possibly be discovered as effectively, which can be ascribed to the low content material of α-Fe2O329. The TEM photographs of pure Bi2WO6 (Fig. 4a,b) and pure α-Fe2O3 (Fig. 4c,d) confirmed layered construction as effectively. Determine 4e displayed that α-Fe2O3 nanosheets randomly grew on the laminated construction of Bi2WO6. A typical HR-TEM picture of α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite was given in Fig. 4f. The lattice with interplanar distances of zero.314 nm and zero.251 nm connected to (131) lattice aircraft of Bi2WO630 and (110) lattice aircraft of Fe2O326, respectively. In view of long-time ultrasonication pretreatment within the TEM course of, it could possibly be concluded that there existed sturdy interlayer interplay between α-Fe2O3 and Bi2WO6 nanoplates36.

Determine threeFigure 3

SEM photographs of (a,b) pure Bi2WO6, (c,d) pure α-Fe2O3 and (e,f) four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite.

Determine fourFigure 4

TEM photographs of pure (a,b) Bi2WO6, (c,d) pure α-Fe2O3, (e) TEM and (f) HR-TEM photographs of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite.

Floor composition evaluation

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurement was used to determine the oxidation state and floor composition of α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites. For pure Bi2WO6, two peaks with binding vitality of 164.60 eV and 159.25 eV had been the break up alerts of Bi 4f (Fig. 5a), which could possibly be assigned to the Bi3+ species within the pattern37. Two attribute peaks within the W 4f spectrum (Fig. 5b) at 37.70 eV and 35.50 eV had been ascribed to W 4f5/2 and W 4f7/237, respectively. As displayed in Fig. S3, the peaks at 724.58 eV and 710.68 eV belonged to Fe 2p1/2 and Fe2p3/238, suggesting the presence of Fe3+. The peaks of Bi3+ 4f and W6+ 4f each confirmed a barely optimistic shift (see Fig. 5), which indicated the floor electron density for Bi and W had modified39,40. This outcome indicated that the heterostructure interface between Fe2O3 and Bi2WO6 may have been shaped15,36. It agreed effectively with the abovementioned XRD, Raman and HR-TEM outcomes.

Determine 5Figure 5

Excessive-resolution XPS spectra of (a) Bi 4f (b) W 4f for various photocatalysts.

Optical properties

Increasing the seen mild absorption vary performed a vital function for the modification of photocatalysts in the direction of enhancing the visible-light photocatalytic exercise. Optical diffuse response spectra (DRS) was used to estimate the seen mild adsorption property of as-obtained photocatalysts. As proven in Fig. 6, pure α-Fe2O3 displayed a superb mild absorption means amongst nearly the entire seen mild vary on account of its slender band hole41. The spectrum of α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites confirmed apparent red-shift in contrast with pure Bi2WO6, implying the development of the utilization of seen mild42. Moreover, the band hole of pure Bi2WO6 and pure Fe2O3 was calculated based mostly on Kubelka–Munk idea to be about 2.65 eV and 1.95 eV, respectively (see Fig. S4). These outcomes agreed effectively with the references43,44.

Determine 6Figure 6

UV−vis absorption spectra of pure Bi2WO6, pure α-Fe2O3 and α-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites.

Photoelectrochemical performances

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was utilized to make clear the interface cost separation and switch effectivity of various photocatalysts underneath seen mild irradiation. The arc radius of Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites was smaller than that of pure Bi2WO6 and Fe2O3(see Fig. 7a), revealing that the photoexcited eletrons may simply switch throughout the interface and effectively migrate to the floor as a result of Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 layered heteojunction39,45. Particularly, the four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite had the smallest arc radius, indicating it possessed the least electrons switch resistance. Tafel evaluation was carried out to get a vivid view of the present density values of the photocatalysts investigated underneath seen mild irradiation46. Typically, bigger values of corrosion present density and anodic Tafel slope meant extra photogenerated pairs and quicker electron switch charge12, which benefitting the photocatalytic course of. As displayed in Fig. 7b, four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite exhibited bigger Jcorr worth and anodic slope as in contrast with pure Bi2WO6. Consequently, the outcomes additional demonstrated that the heterojunction between Fe2O3 and Bi2WO6 may enhance cost switch charge and effectively separate photoexcited electrons and holes. Furthermore, as proven in Fig. S5, the photocurrent of Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite was a lot greater than that of pure Bi2WO6, suggesting the separation ratio of photoexcited costs enhanced. Photoluminescence (PL) spectra was additional used to show the recombination ratio of photoinduced pairs. As displayed in Fig. 7c, the depth of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 was a lot decrease than that of pure Bi2WO6, indicating that the recombination of photogenerated cost carriers was successfully inhibited15,47. Time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectra (Fig. 7d) was additionally used to evaluate recombination kinetics of photoinduced electron-hole pairs. The TRPL decay spectrum waves had been fitted by exponential decay kinetics operate displayed as Eq. (1) 48:

$$I(t)=_,exp (,-,rm/_)+_2,exp (,-,rm/_2)$$


The common emission time was calculated based mostly on Eq. (2) 48:

$$_rmav=sum _^2/sum __$$


the place τ1 and τ2 had been lifetimes, A1 and A2 had been the corresponding weighting elements. Primarily based on the fitted outcomes listed in Desk 1, the typical lifetime of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite was longer than that of pure Bi2WO6, enhancing the probability of photoinduce pairs to take part within the response of gas-phase toluene photodegradation39, thereby implying greater photocatalytic exercise for Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites.

Determine 7Figure 7

(a) Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy spectra of various catalysts, (b) Tafel polarization curves of the assorted electrodes underneath seen mild irradiation, (c) Photoluminescence (PL) spectra and (d) time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) spectra of various samples.

Desk 1 Kinetic parameters of the emission Decay of various samples.

Photocatalytic performances

To judge the photocatalytic effectivity of as-prepared photocatalysts, gaseous toluene was chosen as a probe indoor air contaminant. The toluene degradation effectivity for the samples investigated was displayed in Fig. eight and the relative obvious charge fixed (ok) based mostly on pseudo-first-order kinetic mannequin was obtained (see Fig. S6). Pure Bi2WO6 and α-Fe2O3 confirmed quite poor photocatalytic exercise underneath three-hour seen mild irradiation. In stark distinction, the gaseous toluene removing effectivity was remarkedly enhanced over Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composites owing to their effectively photoelectrochemical property as mentioned above. Amongst all of the samples, four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 catalyst confirmed the very best photocatalytic exercise, whose ok worth (zero.3469 h−1) was a lot greater than these of pure Bi2WO6 (zero.0749 h−1) and pure α-Fe2O3 (zero.0649 h−1). Apart from, the floor space didn’t play an necessary function in enhancing the photocatalytic exercise, because the floor space of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 pattern was modest (see Desk S1). Primarily based on the above evaluation, it could possibly be concluded that the layered heterojunctions between Fe2O3 and Bi2WO6 palyed a key function in selling the photocatalytic course of.

Determine eightFigure 8

Photocatalytic degradation of gaseous toluene within the presence of various samples underneath seen mild irradiation.

Potential photocatalytic mechanism

DMPO spin-trapping ESR method was employed to verified the energetic radicals produced within the photocatalytic system. As offered in Fig. 9, no peaks could possibly be noticed within the darkness. Clearly, attribute peaks for ·OH and ·O2− emerged as soon as the as-obtained samples had been irradiated by seen mild. Each depth for ·OH and ·O2− grew to become stronger with growing irradiation time. Notably, the four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 exhibited stronger depth for ·OH and ·O2− than that of pure Bi2WO6 underneath the identical situation, implying the oxidation means of the composite photocatalyst had been successfully promoted49. As reported within the references50,51,52, the involvement of energetic radical species (similar to ·O2−, ·OH and h+) was crucial within the photocatalytic course of. Thus, free radicals trapping experiment was carried out to additional work out the function of the unconventional species throughout the photocatalytic response. In a typical experiment, Na2C2O453, salicylic acid (SA)54 and benzoquinone (BQ)55 had been utilized as scavengers of h+, ·OH and ·O2−, respectively. As illustrated in Fig. 10, the addition of BQ had little impact on the photocatalytic exercise. Nonetheless, the toluene removing effectivity clearly decreased within the presence of Na2C2O4 and SA. Specifically, the degradation effectivity of toluene was whittled down into about 5% when including applicable quantity of SA. Due to this fact, it could possibly be inferred that h+ and ·OH performed dominant roles within the toluene photodegradation course of.

Determine 9Figure 9

DMPO spin-trapping ESR spectra in Bi2WO6 and four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite in drak or underneath seen mild irradiation: (a) in aqueous dispersion for DMPO-·O2− and (b) in methanol dispersion for DMPO-·OH.

Determine 10Figure 10

Photocatalytic actions of four%-Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite for the photooxidation of toluene within the presence of various quenchers.

Primarily based on the Mott-Schottky evaluation (see Fig. S7), the worth of Fermi vitality stage was −zero.30 eV and −zero.60 eV (vs NHE) for Bi2WO6 and α-Fe2O356, respectively. For n-type semiconductor, the conduction band (CB) edge was extra adverse (about zero–zero.2 eV) than Fermi stage57. Herein, the distinction worth was set to zero.1 eV. Due to this fact, as illustrated in Fig. 11, the conduction band (CB) backside and valence band (VB) prime values of pure Bi2WO6 and pure α-Fe2O3 could possibly be obtained. The in situ development technique may assure the intimate contact between Bi2WO6 and α-Fe2O3 with stronger interfacial interplay. As soon as the heterojunction was irradiated by seen mild, each Bi2WO6 and α-Fe2O3 may generate electron-hole pairs. Because of the type-II heterojunction and intimate contact between Bi2WO6 and α-Fe2O3, the photoexcited electrons on the CB of α-Fe2O3 had the tendency to switch to that of Bi2WO6, whereas photoinduced holes spontaneously moved to the VB of α-Fe2O3 (see Fig. 11). Due to this fact, the photogenerated electrons and holes could possibly be separated effectively, which significantly enhanced the photocatalytic exercise. The CB backside stage of Bi2WO6 was extra adverse than that of O2/·O2− (−zero.33 eV)58, thus the photoexcited electrons may cut back oxygen molecules absorbed on the floor to ·O2− species. What’s extra, a part of O2 could possibly be diminished to H2O2 by photo-generated electrons based mostly on the truth that the redox potential of O2/H2O2 was zero.695 eV59, then the shaped H2O2 may produce ·OH by seize the photo-generated electrons60,61. Though the VB prime worth of α-Fe2O3 was much less optimistic than the potential of ·OH/OH− (1.99 eV)58, attribute alerts of ·OH (1:2:2:1 quartet sample) may nonetheless be clearly noticed within the ESR spectrum (see Fig. 9). This can be ascribed to the truth that a part of the photogenerated holes remaining within the VB prime of Bi2WO6 may additionally oxidize absorbed H2O into ·OH. Related phenomenon was additionally based by Li. et al.39. Therefore, these radical species had sturdy oxidation means to destroy toluene molecule.

Determine 11Figure 11

Diagram of the vitality band ranges of Fe2O3/Bi2WO6 composite and proposed doable photodegradation of toluene course of.

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