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Issue 44, 2012
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Enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4–ZnWO4 by fabricating a heterojunction: investigation based on experimental and theoretical studies

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Abstract

We present a systematic investigation of the microscopic mechanism of interface interaction, charge transfer and separation, as well as their influence on the photocatalytic activity of heterojunctions by a combination of theoretical calculations and experimental techniques for the g-C3N4–ZnWO4 composite. HRTEM results and DFT calculations mutually validate each other to indicate the reasonable existence of g-C3N4 (001)–ZnWO4 (010) and g-C3N4 (001)–ZnWO4 (011) interfaces. The g-C3N4–ZnWO4 heterojunctions show higher photocatalytic activity for degradation of MB than pure g-C3N4 and ZnWO4 under visible-light irradiation. Moreover, the heterojunctions significantly enhance the oxidation of phenol in contrast to pure g-C3N4, the phenol oxidation capacity of which is weak, clearly demonstrating a synergistic effect between g-C3N4 and ZnWO4. Interestingly, based on the theoretical calculations, we find that electrons in the upper valence band can be directly excited from g-C3N4 to the conduction band, that is, the W 5d orbital of ZnWO4, under visible-light irradiation, which should yield well-separated electron–hole pairs, with high photocatalytic performance in g-C3N4–ZnWO4 heterojunctions as shown by our experiment. The microcosmic mechanisms of interface interaction and charge transfer in this system can be helpful for fabricating other effective hetero-structured photocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4–ZnWO4 by fabricating a heterojunction: investigation based on experimental and theoretical studies

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jul 2012, accepted on 18 Sep 2012 and first published on 20 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM34965E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 23428-23438
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    Enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4–ZnWO4 by fabricating a heterojunction: investigation based on experimental and theoretical studies

    L. Sun, X. Zhao, C. Jia, Y. Zhou, X. Cheng, P. Li, L. Liu and W. Fan, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 23428
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM34965E

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