Novel AgI-decorated β-Bi2O3 nanosheet heterostructured Z-scheme photocatalysts for efficient degradation of organic pollutants with enhanced performance†
The low photocatalytic activity of single semiconductor photocatalysts mainly originates from their fast recombination of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. Constructing nanosheet-based composite photocatalysts is an effective way to enhance the charge separation efficiency of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. In this work, AgI-decorated β-Bi2O3 nanosheet heterostructured photocatalysts were prepared by a facile method. The as-obtained AgI/β-Bi2O3 heterostructures exhibited enhanced visible-light-driven photocatalytic activity towards the degradation of methyl orange (MO) and tetracycline hydrochloride (TC) in aqueous solution. The optimum photocatalytic activity of 20%-AgI/β-Bi2O3 for the degradation of MO was about 4.1 and 6.2 times higher than that of AgI and β-Bi2O3. The photocatalytic activity enhancement of AgI/β-Bi2O3 heterostructures could be ascribed to the formation of a Z-scheme system, which results in the efficient space separation of photo-induced charge carriers.