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Characterisation and properties of visible light-active bismuth oxide-titania composite photocatalysts

Ratova, M, Tosheva, L, Kelly, PJ ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1008-4941 and Ohtani, B (2019) Characterisation and properties of visible light-active bismuth oxide-titania composite photocatalysts. Sustainable Materials and Technologies, 22. ISSN 2214-9937


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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Bismuth oxide – titanium dioxide composite materials were produced by pulsed DC reactive magnetron sputtering onto two types of commercially available titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The use of an oscillating bowl enabled deposition of bismuth oxide uniformly onto loose powders, in contrast to solid substrates typically used for the conventional magnetron sputtering processes. Variation of the deposition time allowed the production of composite materials with different amounts of bismuth oxide. The composite materials, as well as uncoated titania powders, were extensively analysed by a range of analytical techniques, including SEM/EDX, XRD, BET, XPS, TEM and UV–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Photocatalytic properties of the materials were assessed under simulated visible light irradiation via degradation of acetone and methanol through measurements of carbon dioxide evolution. Additionally, the composite materials were characterised with a newly developed technique of reversed double-beam photoacoustic spectroscopy in order to obtain information on the distribution of electron traps. Bismuth oxide was found in crystalline β-Bi 2 O 3 form on both types of substrates without any additional heat treatment applied. Though the distribution of bismuth oxide on titanium dioxide was found to depend strongly on particle size and deposition time used, the composite materials exhibited significantly enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity compared to either of the commercial titania materials used as a substrate.

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