KLa2Ti3O9.5 and KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals were successfully synthesized using a hydrothermal method and a subsequent calcination treatment. The band gap (Eg) of the KLa2Ti3O9.5 nanocrystals was calculated to be about 2.56 eV by means of the reflectance diffusion technique. Under 980-nm excitation, the KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals emitted intense green (2H11/2/4S3/2 → 4I15/2) and red (4F9/2 → 4I15/2) upconversion (UC) luminescence. In comparison with pure KLa2Ti3O9.5, the KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals exhibited a higher activity for water splitting into H2 under simulated solar light irradiation. We suggest that the enhancement of photocatalytic activity is related to the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and UC luminescence of KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
G. Wang, Q. Peng, and Y. Li: Lanthanide-doped nanocrystals: Synthesis, optical-magnetic properties, and applications. Acc. Chem. Res. 44, 322 (2011).
M. El-Sayed: Some interesting properties of metals confined in time and nanometer space of different shapes. Acc. Chem. Res. 34, 257 (2001).
F. Williams, S. Huang, Z. Ming, Y. Kao, G. Smith, E. Goldburt, R. Hodel, B. Kulkarni, J. Veliadis, and R. Bhargava: X-ray excited luminescence and local structures in Tb-doped Y2O3 nanocrystals. J. Appl. Phys. 83, 5404 (1998).
X. Bai, H. Song, G. Pan, Y. Lei, T. Wang, X. Ren, S. Lu, B. Dong, Q. Dai, and L. Fan: Size-dependent upconversion luminescence in Er3+/Yb3+-codoped nanocrystalline yttria: Saturation and thermal effects. J. Phys. Chem. C 111, 13611 (2007).
Y. Kim, Y. Yang, S. Ha, S. Cho, Y. Kim, H. Kim, H. Yang, and Y. Kim: Mixed-ligand nanoparticles of chlorobenzenemethanethiol and n-octanethiol as chemical sensors. Sens. Actuators, B 106, 189 (2005).
R. Bhargava, D. Gallaghar, X. Hong, and A. Nurmikko: Optical properties of manganese-doped nanocrystals of ZnS. Phys. Rev. Lett. 72, 416 (1994).
X. Wang and Y. Li: Synthesis and formation mechanism of manganese dioxides nanowires/nanorods. Chem. Eur. J. 9, 5627 (2003).
M. Cao, Y. Wang, Y. Qi, C. Guo, and C. Hu: Synthesis and characterization of MgF2 and KMgF3 nanorods. J. Solid State Chem. 177, 2205 (2004).
M. Schwuger, K. Stickdom, and R. Schomacker: Microemulsions in technical processes. Chem. Rev. 95, 849 (1995).
L. Wang and Y. Li: Controlled synthesis and luminescence of lanthanide doped NaYF4 nanocrystals. Chem. Mater. 19, 727 (2007).
A. Patra, C. Friend, R. Kapoor, and N. Prasad: Upconversion in Er3+:ZrO2 nanocrystals. J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 1909 (2002).
Y. Tao, G. Zhao, W. Zhang, and S. Xia: Combustion synthesis and photoluminescence of nanocrystalline Y2O3:Eu phosphors. Mater. Res. Bull. 32, 501 (1997).
Z. Xia and P. Du: Synthesis and upconversion luminescence properties of CaF2:Yb3+, Er3+ nanoparticles obtained from SBA-15 template. J. Mater. Res. 25, 2035 (2010).
G. Wang, W. Qin, J. Zhang, J. Zhang, J. Zhang, Y. Wang, C. Cao, L. Wang, G. Wei, P. Zhu, and R. Kim: Synthesis, growth mechanism, and tunable upconversion luminescence of Yb3+/Tm3+-codoped YF3 nanobundles. J. Phys. Chem. C 112, 12161 (2008).
F. Wang, Y. Han, C. Lim, Y. Lu, J. Wang, J. Xu, H. Chen, C. Zhang, M. Hong, and X. Liu: Simultaneous phase and size control of upconversion nanocrystals through lanthanide doping. Nature 463, 1061 (2010).
A. Fujishima and K. Honda: Electrochemical photolysis of water at a semiconductor electrode. Nature 238, 37 (1972).
S. Mao and X. Chen: Selected nanotechnologies for renewable energy applications. Int. J. Energy Res. 31, 619 (2007).
A. Linsebigler, G. Lu, and J. Yates: Photocatalysis on TiOn surfaces: Principles, mechanisms, and selected results. Chem. Rev. 95, 735 (1995).
A. Hagfeldt and M. Graetzel: Light-induced redox reactions in nanocrystalline systems. Chem. Rev. 95, 49 (1995).
M. Tian, W. Shangguan, J. Yuan, L. Jiang, M. Chen, J. Shi, Z. Ouyang, and S. Wang: K4Ce2M10O30 (M = Ta, Nb) as visible light-driven photocatalysts for hydrogen evolution from water decomposition. Appl. Catal., A 309, 76 (2006).
K. Maeda, K. Teramura, and K. Domen: Development of cocatalysts for photocatalytic overall water splitting on (Gal-xZnx)(N1-xOx) solid solution. Catal. Surv. Asia 11, 145 (2007).
S. Ikeda, M. Hara, J. Kondo, and K. Domen: Preparation of K2La2Ti3O10 by polymerized complex method and photocatalytic decomposition of water. Chem. Mater. 10, 72 (1998).
Z. Gönen, D. Paluchowski, P. Zavalij, B. Eichhorn, and J. Gopalakrishnan: Reversible cation/anion extraction from K2La2Ti3O10: Formation of new layered titanates, KLa2Ti3O9.5 and La2Ti3O9. Inorg. Chem. 45, 8736 (2006).
A. Kudo and T. Sakata: Luminescent properties of nondoped and rare earth metal ion-doped K2La2Ti3O10 with layered perovskite structures: Importance of the hole trap process. J. Phys. Chem. 99, 15963 (1995).
A. Kudo, I. Tsuji, and H. Kato: AgInZn7S9 solid solution photocatalyst for H2 evolution from aqueous solutions under visible light irradiation. Chem. Commun. 17, 1958 (2002).
J. Zhang, F. Shi, D. Chen, J. Gao, Z. Huang, X. Ding, and C. Tang: Self-assembled 3-D architectures of BiOBr as a visible light-driven photo-catalyst. Chem. Mater. 20, 2937 (2008).
M. Pollnau, D. Gamelin, S. Lüthi, and H. Güdel: Power dependence of upconversion luminescence in lanthanide and transition–metal–ion systems. Phys. Rev. B 61, 3337 (2000).
N. Fan, Y. Chen, Q. Feng, C. Wang, K. Pan, W. Zhou, Y. Li, H. Hou, and G. Wang: Enhanced photocatalytic activity and upconversion luminescence of flower-like hierarchical Bi2MoO6 microspheres by Er3+ doping. J. Mater. Res. 27, 1 (2012).
N. Zu, H. Yang, and Z. Dai: Different processes responsible for blue pumped, ultraviolet and violet luminescence in high-concentrated Er3+:YAG and low-concentrated Er3+:YAP crystals. Phys. B 403, 174 (2008).
H. Xu and Z. Jiang: Dynamics of visible-to-ultraviolet upconversion in YAlO3:1% Er3+. Chem. Phys. 287, 155 (2003).
H. Yang, Z. Dai, and Z. Sun: Upconversion luminescence and kinetics in Er3+:YAlO3 under 652.2 nm excitation. J. Lumin. 124, 207 (2007).
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 10979032, 21001042, and 21171052), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. NCET-11-0959), the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province (Grant No. LBH-Q11009), and the Youth Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of Heilongjiang University.
About this article
Cite this article
Li, Y., Qu, Y., Wang, G. et al. Synthesis, luminescence, and photocatalytic activity of KLa2Ti3O9.5:Er3+ nanocrystals for water decomposition to hydrogen. Journal of Materials Research 27, 2925–2929 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2012.322