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Open AccessArticle

The Synthesis of a Core-Shell Photocatalyst Material YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 and Investigation of Its Photocatalytic Properties

by Xuan Xu 1,2, Shiyu Zhou 1,2, Jun Long 1,2, Tianhu Wu 1,2 and Zihong Fan 3,*
Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of Education, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China
National Centre for International Research of Low-carbon and Green Buildings, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China
College of Environmental and Resources, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing 400067, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dirk Poelman
Materials 2017, 10(3), 302;
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
In this paper, YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 core-shell nanomaterials were prepared by hydrolysis of tetra-n-butyl titanate (TBOT) using polyvinylpyrrolidone K-30 (PVP) as the coupling agent. Characterization methods including X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) under TEM, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), fluorescence spectrometry, ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and electron spin resonance (ESR) were used to characterize the properties and working mechanism of the prepared photocatalyst material. They indicated that the core phase YF3 nanoparticles were successfully coated with a TiO2 shell and the length of the composite was roughly 100 nm. The Ho3+ single-doped YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 displayed strong visible absorption peaks with wavelengths of 450, 537, and 644 nm, respectively. By selecting these three peaks as excitation wavelengths, we could observe 288 nm (5D45I8) ultraviolet emission, which confirmed that there was indeed an energy transfer from YF3:Ho3+ to anatase TiO2. In addition, this paper investigated the influences of different TBOT dosages on photocatalysis performance of the as-prepared photocatalyst material. Results showed that the YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 core-shell nanomaterial was an advanced visible-light-driven catalyst, which decomposed approximately 67% of rhodamine b (RhB) and 34.6% of phenol after 10 h of photocatalysis reaction. Compared with the blank experiment, the photocatalysis efficiency was significantly improved. Finally, the visible-light-responsive photocatalytic mechanism of YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 core-shell materials and the influencing factors of photocatalytic degradation were investigated to study the apparent kinetics, which provides a theoretical basis for improving the structural design and functions of this new type of catalytic material. View Full-Text
Keywords: upconversion; visible light photocatalysis; core-shell structure; Ho3+-single-doped upconversion; visible light photocatalysis; core-shell structure; Ho3+-single-doped
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, X.; Zhou, S.; Long, J.; Wu, T.; Fan, Z. The Synthesis of a Core-Shell Photocatalyst Material YF3:Ho3+@TiO2 and Investigation of Its Photocatalytic Properties. Materials 2017, 10, 302.

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