Novel Ag-bridged dual Z-scheme g-C3N4/BiOI/AgI plasmonic heterojunction: Exceptional photocatalytic activity towards tetracycline and the mechanism insight

Taicheng An , Wenxia Wang , Zhen Li , Kailin Wu , Guodong Dai , Qingping Chen , Lihua Zhou , Junxia Zheng , Liang Ma , Guiying Li , Wanjun Wang


Received September 13, 2022,Revised , Accepted November 01, 2022, Available online November 18, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 123-140

Rational design and synthesis of highly efficient and robust photocatalysts with positive exciton splitting and interfacial charge transfer for environmental applications is critical. Herein, aiming at overcoming the common shortcomings of traditional photocatalysts such as weak photoresponsivity, rapid combination of photo-generated carriers and unstable structure, a novel Ag-bridged dual Z-scheme g-C3N4/BiOI/AgI plasmonic heterojunction was successfully synthesized using a facile method. Results showed that Ag-AgI nanoparticles and three-dimensional (3D) BiOI microspheres were decorated highly uniformly on the 3D porous g-C3N4 nanosheet, resulting in a higher specific surface area and abundant active sites. The optimized 3D porous dual Z-scheme g-C3N4/BiOI/Ag-AgI manifested exceptional photocatalytic degradation efficiency of tetracycline (TC) in water with approximately 91.8% degradation efficiency within 165 min, outperforming majority of the reported g-C3N4-based photocatalysts. Moreover, g-C3N4/BiOI/Ag-AgI exhibited good stability in terms of activity and structure. In-depth radical scavenging and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analyses confirmed the relative contributions of various scavengers. Mechanism analysis indicated that the improved photocatalytic performance and stability were ascribed to the highly ordered 3D porous framework, fast electron transfer of dual Z-scheme heterojunction, desirable photocatalytic performance of BiOI/AgI and synergistic effect of Ag plasmas. Therefore, the 3D porous Z-scheme g-C3N4/BiOI/Ag-AgI heterojunction had a good prospect for applications in water remediation. The current work provides new insight and useful guidance for designing novel structural photocatalysts for environment-related applications.

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