Uniform hierarchical Ag3PO4 porous microcubes were for the first time synthesized by a one-step reaction at room temperature with the help of the trisodium citrate (Na3Cit). The phase, microstructure, morphology, and textural properties of the Ag3PO4 porous microcubes were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Na3Cit played important roles as the structure directing agent, crystal growth modifier and aggregation-orienting agent for the formation of this unique Ag3PO4 microstructure. Ostwald ripening and the self-assembly process were proposed for the possible evolution mechanism based on time-dependent experiments. Importantly, the obtained Ag3PO4 porous microcubes exhibited remarkable enhanced visible-light photocatalytic degradations of an aqueous solution of rhodamine B (RhB), far exceeding that of solid Ag3PO4 sample and commercial P25 powders. The results presented here also provide new insights into porous hierarchical materials as high-performance visible-light photocatalysts and their potential use in environmental protection.
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