As a kind of semi-conducting material with excellent photocatalytic activity, BiOCl has been a hot topic in phtotcatalysis area. Studies show that the morphology and exposed crystal planes of BiOCl have significant influence on its photocatalytic activity.
Compared with conventional nano particles, three-dimensional (3D) BiOCl hierarchitectures composed of nano sheets show better photocatalytic activity due to their large surface area. However, the current method to prepare BiOCl three-dimensional hierarchitectures has certain limitations. Therefore, how to synthesize BiOCl photocatalytic materials with hierarchitectures under room temperature has become a challenge.
SEM, photocatalytic activities and photoelectric conversion performances of flower-like BiOCl hierarchical nanostructures (Image by BI Yingpu et al.)
The research group for energy and nano catalytic materials for environment at Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (LICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has fabricated 3D flower-like BiOCl hierarchical nanostructures (HNs) by a facile and rapid in situ oxidation reaction between metallic Bi nanospheres and FeCl3 at room temperature. The resulting flower-like BiOCl hierarchical nanostructures exhibit much higher visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity and photoelectric property than commercial BiOCl. The rational in situ oxidation fabrication of Bi-based semiconductor hierarchical nanostructures may be an effective technique for the development of highly efficient visible-light-sensitive photocatalysts.
The work has received support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Hundred Talents Program of the CAS. The work has been published in Chem Eur J (Chem Eur J, 2013, 19, 9472).