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Tuneable Phase, Morphology, and Performance of Bismuth Oxyhalide Photocatalysts via Microwave-Assisted Synthesis

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In this study, a facile microwave-assisted synthesis approach was used to produce a series of bismuth oxyhalide photocatalysts, with systematic changes in synthesis pH between 1 and 14 allowing control over a broad range of material properties and characteristics. Detailed structural and morphological investigations with powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), Rietveld refinements, pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) show that thin particles of BiOCl, BiOBr, Bi 24O 31Cl 10, and Bi 24O 31Br 10were selectively produced, with progressive changes in morphology, facet dominance, and phase as a function of pH. The impact of these changes on photocatalytic performance was evaluated by studying the aerobic oxidation of benzylamine to N-benzylidenebenzylamine, with all materials exhibiting photocatalytic abilities under UV or blue light. While a combination of material properties and characteristics influenced the photocatalytic performance, certain factors such as surface area, facet dominance, amorphous content, and band gap were found to have a larger impact on the photocatalytic yield. Overall, this study demonstrates the possibilities of phase, morphology, and performance of bismuth oxyhalide photocatalysts over the entire pH range, produced using a fast and facile microwave-assisted synthesis technique as an alternative to the more widely applied hydrothermal synthesis approach. Additionally, the detailed structural and morphological investigations of the materials contribute to a greater understanding of bismuth oxyhalide photocatalysts in general, while also highlighting some of the most desirable properties for improved photocatalytic performance of these materials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Pages (from-to)23496-23506
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

    Research areas

  • Rietveld refinements, benzylamine oxidation, bismuth oxyhalides, pH-dependence, pair distribution function analysis, photocatalysis, OXIDATION, ENERGY, SEMICONDUCTORS, NANOSHEETS, BENZYL ALCOHOL, DEPENDENT PHOTOREACTIVITY, VISIBLE-LIGHT, DEGRADATION, BISPHENOL-A, BIOBR

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