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Hierarchically Porous WO3/CdWO4 Fiber-in-Tube Nanostructures Featuring Readily Accessible Active Sites and Enhanced Photocatalytic Effectiveness for Antibiotic Degradation in Water

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journal contribution
posted on 29.04.2021, 08:45 by Feng Rong, Qifang Lu, Haoxin Mai, Dehong Chen, Rachel A. Caruso
The intentional design and construction of photocatalysts containing heterojunctions with readily accessible active sites will improve their ability to degrade pollutants. Herein, hierarchically porous WO3/CdWO4 fiber-in-tube nanostructures with three accessible surfaces (surface of core fiber and inner and outer surfaces of the porous tube shell) were fabricated by an electrospinning method. This WO3/CdWO4 heterostructure, assembled by interconnected nanoparticles, displays good photocatalytic degradation of ciprofloxacin (CIP, 93.4%) and tetracycline (TC, 81.6%) after 90 min of simulated sunlight irradiation, much higher than the pristine WO3 (<75.3% for CIP and <53.6% for TC) or CdWO4 materials (<58.9% for CIP and <39.5% for TC). The WO3/CdWO4 fiber-in-tube promotes the separation of photoinduced electrons and holes and also provides readily accessible reaction sites for photocatalytic degradation. The dominant active species determined by trapping active species and electron paramagnetic resonance were hydroxyl radicals followed by photogenerated holes and superoxide anions. The WO3/CdWO4 materials formed a Z-scheme heterojunction that generated superoxide anion and hydroxyl radicals, leading to degradation of antibiotics (CIP and TC) via photocatalysis in aqueous solution.

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