Inlay of Bi2O2CO3 nanoparticles onto Bi2WO6 nanosheets to build heterostructured photocatalysts
Surface-dispersive-type Bi2O2CO3/Bi2WO6 heterostructured nanosheets were successfully prepared via anion exchange in a hydrothermal process with the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) as a precursor of CO32−. The Bi2O2CO3 nanoparticles (with diameters about 5 nm) were highly homogeneously dispersed and inlaid in the single-crystalline Bi2WO6 nanosheets. The composites with intimate interfacial contacts between Bi2O2CO3 and Bi2WO6 exhibited superior visible light photocatalytic activity towards the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB). The composite nanosheets containing 7.86 wt% Bi2O2CO3 showed the best performance and the degradation rate of RhB was 6 times faster than that with the bare Bi2WO6. The dramatic enhancement of the photocatalytic activity of the Bi2O2CO3/Bi2WO6 photocatalysts can be attributed to the hetero-interfaces between Bi2O2CO3 and Bi2WO6, their intrinsically layered structure, two-dimensional morphology and the effective separation of the photoinduced carriers at the interfaces and in the semiconductors. This method can be used to design and prepare other Aurivillius heterostructured semiconductors for efficient light harvesting and energy conversion applications.