Photocatalytic Properties of Layered Metal Oxides Substituted with Silver by a Molten AgNO3 Treatment

K4Nb6O17 (BG: 3.67 eV) and Na2W4O13 (BG: 3.12 eV) layered oxide photocatalysts with wide band gaps were treated with a molten AgNO3 to substitute K+ and Na+ with Ag+, resulting in red-shifts of absorption edges in diffuse reflectance spectra. A part of Na+ ions in the interlayer of Na2W4O13 was substituted with Ag+ ions by the molten AgNO3 treatment with keeping the layered structure. Both Ag­(I)-substituted K4Nb6O17 and Na2W4O13 showed photocatalytic activities for O2 evolution from aqueous solutions containing a sacrificial reagent utilizing the absorption bands newly formed by the Ag­(I)-substitution. Notably, the Ag­(I)-substituted Na2W4O13 produced O2 under visible light irradiation. When ball-milled Na2W4O13 was treated with a molten AgNO3, the Ag­(I)-substitution rate increased. The Ag­(I)-substituted Na2W4O13 with ball-milling showed higher photocatalytic activity for O2 evolution than that without ball-milling. Z-schematic water splitting proceeded under visible light irradiation by combining the Ag­(I)-substituted Na2W4O13 of an O2-evolving photocatalyst with Ru-loaded SrTiO3 doped with Rh of a H2-evolving photocatalyst.