Journal of Catalysis, Vol.357, 41-50, 2018
Visible-light-induced charge transfer pathway and photocatalysis mechanism on Bi semimetal@defective BiOBr hierarchical microspheres
Charge transfer pathway and catalysis mechanism are two major issues in a specific catalytic reaction process. To further probe these two aspects of photocatalytic NO oxidation to address the environmental problem, Bi metal@defective BiOBr hierarchical microspheres were fabricated and used as a visible light photocatalyst. The interfacial and surface properties of Bi metal@defective BiOBr were optimized to understand the SPR effect of Bi metal and the oxygen vacancies (OVs) formed in situ. It was found that the charge transfer pathway on Bi metal@defective BiOBr has been significantly changed from that on pristine BiOBr. The Bi semimetal could act both as a charge transfer bridge and as a hot electron donor. The OVs induced the formation of an intermediate level in the band structure of BiOBr and promote O-2 activation and thus the generation of center dot O-2(-) species. Due to the synergistic effects of Bi metal and OVs, Bi metal@defective BiOBr demonstrated highly enhanced visible light photocatalytic performance for NO removal. The photocatalytic NO oxidation process has been monitored by in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS), which could reveal the reaction intermediate products accurately. On the basis of an investigation with in situ DRIFTS and the simulation of the electronic structure, a new photocatalysis mechanism involving Bi metal, OVs, and NO transformation was proposed. The perspectives on the charge transfer pathway and photocatalysis mechanism in the present work can be extended to other catalysts for tuning the interfacial properties and enhancing the photocatalytic performance to address environmental problems. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.