Exalted photocatalytic activity of tetragonal BiVO4 by Er3+ doping through a luminescence cooperative mechanism†
Er-doped BiVO4 are synthesized by means of a surfactant free microwave assisted hydrothermal method having good photoactivities under sun-like excitation for the degradation of methylene blue. From the structural and morphological characterization, it has been stated that the presence of Er3+ induces a slight stabilization of the tetragonal phase, probably due to its incorporation in the BiVO4 lattice. The best photocatalytic performances were attained for the samples with Er3+ content higher than 3 at%. The occurrence of the Er3+ doped tetragonal BiVO4 clearly induces higher photocatalytic activities. The existence of a luminescence process has been related with the enhanced photoactivity observed.