Near-infrared photocatalysts of BiVO4/CaF2:Er3+, Tm3+, Yb3+ with enhanced upconversion properties
Upconversion photocatalysts have the potential to absorb the near-infrared (NIR) light in solar energy and improve the photocatalytic performance. A hierarchical upconversion photocatalyst of BiVO4 (BVO)/CaF2:Er3+, Tm3+, Yb3+ (CF) combined with the narrow-band semiconductor of BVO and the luminescence agent of CF to enhance upconversion properties was synthesized via the hydrothermal method. The CF particles were deposited homogeneously on the surface of the BVO/CF composite with regular dendritic structure, which led to efficient upconversion emissions. The upconversion emission intensity of the BVO/CF composite was 8 times higher than that of pure CF, through tailoring the crystal symmetry of lanthanide ions by Bi3+ ions. The upconverted ultraviolet (361 and 379 nm), violet (408 nm), and blue (485 nm) light was able to excite BVO for photocatalysis in BVO/CF under NIR irradiation, which improved the degradation rate of methyl orange (MO).