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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8040261

A Facile Method for the Preparation of Colored Bi4Ti3O12−x Nanosheets with Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution Activity

1
College of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract

Bi4Ti3O12−x nanosheet photocatalysts with abundant oxygen vacancies are fabricated by a facile solid-state chemical reduction method for the first time. This method is simple in operation, has short reaction time, and can be conducted at mild temperatures (300~400 °C). The electron paramagnetic resonance, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, and positron annihilation lifetime spectra results indicate that oxygen vacancies are produced in Bi4Ti3O12−x, and they can be adjusted by tuning the reduction reaction conditions. Control experiments show that the reduction time and temperature have great influences on the photocatalytic activities of Bi4Ti3O12−x. The optimal Bi4Ti3O12−x is the sample undergoing the reduction treatment at 350 °C for 60 min and it affords a hydrogen evolution rate of 129 μmol·g−1·h−1 under visible-light irradiation, which is about 3.4 times that of the pristine Bi4Ti3O12. The Bi4Ti3O12−x photocatalysts have good reusability and storage stability and can be used to decompose formaldehyde and formic acid for hydrogen production. The surface oxygen vacancies states result in the broadening of the valence band and the narrowing of the band gap. Such energy level structure variation helps promote the separation of photo-generated electron-hole pairs thus leading to enhancement in the visible-light photocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Meanwhile, the narrowing of the band gap leads to a broader visible light absorption of Bi4Ti3O12−x. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bi4Ti3O12 nanosheets; photocatalytic hydrogen evolution; solid-state chemical reduction; oxygen vacancy Bi4Ti3O12 nanosheets; photocatalytic hydrogen evolution; solid-state chemical reduction; oxygen vacancy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Y.; Chen, Z.; Lu, Z. A Facile Method for the Preparation of Colored Bi4Ti3O12−x Nanosheets with Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution Activity. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 261.

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