An ordered and porous N-doped carbon dot-sensitized Bi2O3 inverse opal with enhanced photoelectrochemical performance and photocatalytic activity
A novel ordered porous Bi2O3 inverse opal structure (IOS) was prepared using a polystyrene (PS) photonic crystal as the template for the first time. Nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) were chosen to sensitize the as-prepared Bi2O3 IOS for improving photoelectrochemical performance and photocatalytic activity. The photocurrent density of the fabricated N-CDs/Bi2O3 IOS with favorable visible light absorption properties can achieve 0.75 mA cm−2, which significantly enhanced performance two-, seven-, and thirty-fold compared with that of the CDs/Bi2O3 IOS, Bi2O3 IOS, and Bi2O3 nanoparticles (NPs), respectively. The N-CDs/Bi2O3 IOS also has increased photocatalytic activity for the decolorization of Rhodamine B (RhB), 4 times higher than Bi2O3 NPs. The above performance enhancement of N-CDs/Bi2O3 IOS is caused by the synergistic effect of N-CDs sensitization and the highly ordered IOS, which make it a promising material to be used in clean energy, solar cells, potential applications in water purification and so on.