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Novel in Situ N-Doped (BiO)2CO3 Hierarchical Microspheres Self-Assembled by Nanosheets as Efficient and Durable Visible Light Driven Photocatalyst

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016 by Fan Dong, Yanjuan Sun, Min Fu, Wing-Kei Ho, Shun Cheng Lee, Zhongbiao Wu
Novel N-doped (BiO)2CO3 hierarchical microspheres (N-BOC) were fabricated by a facile one-pot template free method on the basis of hydrothermal treatment of bismuth citrate and urea in water for the first time. The N-BOC sample was characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, N2 adsorption–desorption isotherms, and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy. The N-BOC was constructed by the self-assembly of single-crystalline nanosheets. The aggregation of nanosheets led to the formation of hierarchical framework with mesopores, which is favorable for efficient transport of reaction molecules and harvesting of photoenergy. Due to the in situ doped nitrogen substituting for oxygen in the lattice of (BiO)2CO3, the band gap of N-BOC was reduced from 3.4 to 2.5 eV, making N-BOC visible light active. The N-BOC exhibited not only excellent visible light photocatalytic activity, but also high photochemical stability and durability during repeated and long-term photocatalytic removal of NO in air due to the special hierarchical structure. This work demonstrates that the facile fabrication method for N-BOC combined with the associated outstanding visible light photocatalytic performance could provide new insights into the morphology-controlled fabrication of nanostructured photocatalytic materials for environmental pollution control.