Highly efficient visible-light-driven photocatalytic activities in synthetic ordered monoclinic BiVO4 quantum tubes–graphene nanocomposites†
Photocatalytic purification of polluted water is a very promising way to alleviate the increasingly serious water resources crisis. Despite tremendous efforts, developing visible-light-driven photocatalysts with high activity at low cost still remains a great challenge. Herein, we report for the first time the design and synthesis of ordered m-BiVO4 quantum tubes–graphene nanocomposites that exhibit unprecedented visible-light-driven photocatalytic activities, over 20 times faster than that of commercial P25 or bulk BiVO4 and roughly 1.5 times more active than that of bare m-BiVO4 quantum tubes. Notably, the unusual photoreactivities arise from the synergistic effects between the microscopic crystal structure of m-BiVO4 and macroscopic morphological features of ordered m-BiVO4 quantum tubes and two-dimensional graphene sheets. These structural features help to provide increased photocatalytic reaction sites, extended photoresponding range, enhanced charge transportation and separation efficiency simultaneously. Briefly, this work not only provides a simple and straightforward strategy for fabricating highly efficient and stable graphene-based nanocomposites, but also proves that these unique structures are excellent platforms for significantly improving their visible-light-driven photoactivities, holding great promise for their applications in the field of purifying polluted water resources.