Ultra small subnano TiOx cluster as an excellent co-catalyst for photocatalytic degradation of tetracycline on plasmonic Ag/AgCl
The separation efficiency and recombination rate of photogenerated electron-hole pairs play a vital role in photocatalytic activity. We report the incorporation of ultra-small subnano TiOx clusters as an outstanding cocatalyst on surface of plasmonic Ag/AgCl to boost the simulated sunlight photore9activity. The formed structure is in favour of efficient photoinduced electron-hole transfer process and suppressing the recombination rate, yielding an enhanced photocatalytic activity. The experimental results show that the TiOx@Ag/AgCl exhibits an extraordinarily high activity in photodegradation of tetracycline (TC) under simulated sunlight irradiation, which is about 21.7 times higher than those of bare Ag/AgCl. The corresponding apparent quantum efficiency (AQE) is up to 0.917% at 435 nm and 17.459% at 350 nm during photodegradation of TC, respectively. Moreover, the TiOx@Ag/AgCl shows an outstanding long-term stability without obvious performance loss even after ten cycles of photodegradation. The possible enhancement mechanism of the reaction rate is proposed based on the compositional, structural, and optical properties analysis. We found that h+ was the major reactive species in photodegradation process of TC. Our founding on ultra-small TiOx cocatalyst would shed light on the design and development of highly efficient oxide cluster co-catalysts.