Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.581, 719-728, 2021
Oxygen-deficient bismuth molybdate nanocatalysts: Synergistic effects in boosting photocatalytic oxidative coupling of benzylamine and mechanistic insight
Herein, bismuth molybdate (Bi2MoO6) nanocatalysts containing oxygen vacancies (OVs) are found to considerably promote the photocatalytic performance toward oxidative coupling of benzylamine to N-benzylidenebenzylamine under visible light irradiation. The structure-activity relationship for this interesting catalyst is revealed for the first time. The oxygen-deficient Bi2MoO6 nanoplatelets (BMO-NPs) are synthesized using ethylene glycol-ethanol solvent mixture as a reaction medium in solvothermal method. A comparison with hydrothermally prepared Bi2MoO6 square-like sheets (BMO-SHs) suggests that the nanoplatelets are much smaller in size and contain higher amount of OVs. Benzylamine conversion over the BMO-NPs is ca. 4.0 times higher than that over the BMO-SHs and ca. 3.8 and ca. 34.6 times higher than that over the commercial benchmark TiO(2 )P25 and BiVO4 catalysts, respectively. The BMO-NPs achieve more than 80% product yield within 2 h of irradiation regardless of substituents of benzylamine derivatives. The enhanced activity of BMO-NPs is due to synergistic roles of high surface-to-volume ratio and OVs, providing enlarged active area, extended light absorption range and improved charge separation and transfer efficiency as evidenced from UV-vis DRS, BET surface area, photocurrent response, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and time-resolved fluorescence decay measurements. EPR-trapping and radical scavenging experiments indicate O-2(center dot) as a main active species rather than O-1(2) and a plausible imine formation mechanism via O-2(center dot)-assisted charge transfer is proposed accordingly. The work offers an alternative facile preparation method to design efficient semiconductor photocatalysts and for the first time reveals a possible benzylamine coupling mechanism over the oxygen-deficient Bi2MoO6 nanocatalyst. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.