Post-illumination activity of Bi2WO6 in the dark from the photocatalytic “memory” effect

Abstract

Photocatalysts with the photocatalytic “memory” effect could resolve the intrinsic activity loss of traditional photocatalysts when the light illumination is turned off. Due to the dual requirements of light absorption and energy storage/release functions, most previously reported photocatalysts with the photocatalytic “memory” effect were composite photocatalysts of two phase components, which may lose their performance due to gradually deteriorated interface conditions during their applications. In this work, a simple solvothermal process was developed to synthesize Bi2WO6 microspheres constructed by aggregated nanoflakes. The pure phase Bi2WO6 was found to possess the photocatalytic “memory” effect through the trapping and release of photogenerated electrons by the reversible chemical state change of W component in the (WO4)2− layers. When the illumination was switched off, Bi2WO6 microspheres continuously produced H2O2 in the dark as those trapped photogenerated electrons were gradually released to react with O2 through the two-electron O2 reduction process, resulting in the continuous disinfection of Escherichia coli bacteria in the dark through the photocatalytic “memory” effect. No deterioration of their cycling H2O2 production performance in the dark was observed, which verified their stable photocatalytic “memory” effect.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51672283, 51602316, and 51902271), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant Nos. A1920502051907-15, 2682020CX07, and 2682020CX08), Sichuan Science and Technology Program (Grant Nos. 2020YJ0259 and 2020YJ0072), Joint Fund between Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science and State Key Laboratory of Advanced Processing and Recycling of Nonferrous Metals (Grant No. 18LHPY009), Liaoning Baiqianwan Talents Program, Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province of China (Grant No. 20180510042), and the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, China (Grant No. ZR2017MEM017).

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Correspondence to Qi Li.

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Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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Yang, W., Chen, Y., Gao, S. et al. Post-illumination activity of Bi2WO6 in the dark from the photocatalytic “memory” effect. J Adv Ceram 10, 355–367 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40145-020-0448-8

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Keywords

  • Bi2WO6
  • photocatalytic “memory” effect
  • energy storage/release
  • activity in the dark
  • stability