Shape tailoring of AgBr microstructures: effect of the cations of different bromide sources and applied surfactants†
Investigations regarding AgBr-based photocatalysts came to the center of attention due to their high photosensitivity. The present research focuses on the systematic investigation regarding the effect of different alkali metal cation radii and surfactants/capping agents applied during the synthesis of silver-halides. Their morpho-structural and optical properties were determined via X-ray diffractometry, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and contact angle measurements. The semiconductors' photocatalytic activities were investigated using methyl orange as the model contaminant under visible light irradiation. The correlation between the photocatalytic activity and the obtained optical and morpho-structural properties was analyzed using generalized linear models. Moreover, since the (photo)stability of Ag-based photoactive materials is a crucial issue, the stability of catalysts was also investigated after the degradation process. It was concluded that (i) the photoactivity of the samples could be fine-tuned using different precursors and surfactants, (ii) the as-obtained AgBr microcrystals were transformed into other Ag-containing composites during/after the degradation, and (iii) elemental bromide did not form during the degradation process. Thus, the proposed mechanisms in the literature (for the degradation of MO using AgBr) must be reconsidered.