A bio-inspired strategy for the interfacial assembly of graphene oxide with in situ generated Ag/AgCl: designing sustainable hybrid photocatalysts†
Herein, we report a polyamine-mediated assembly to integrate graphene oxide (GO) sheets with Ag/AgCl to fabricate a hybrid nanocomposite (GO–Ag/AgCl) at nearly neutral pH and ambient temperature. Inspired by the role of polyamines in the excellent integration of components to generate hierarchical nanostructures in biominerals such as diatoms, we showed that our strategy enabled the fabrication of GO–semiconductor composites with a well-integrated structure. The polyamines not only facilitated the in situ generation of Ag/AgCl, but also simultaneously allowed their interaction with GO suitable for visible light active photocatalysis, as revealed by the detailed characterization of the synthesized materials. Consequently, the GO–Ag/AgCl exhibited nearly 5 times higher photocatalytic activity and better photostability than Ag/AgCl under visible light irradiation. The nanocomposite reached its highest activity at the graphene content of 4.16 wt%. Thus, the assembly process represented an effective way to design hybrid composites. Moreover, as a sustainable photocatalyst, it facilitates effective separation of the photogenerated charge carriers at the interface, thereby improving activity and stability.