Synthesis of BiVO4@C core-shell structure on reduced graphene oxide with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity
Herein, a facile strategy for the controllable synthesis of BiVO4@C core-shell nanoparticles on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) is reported. The BiVO4 particle size can be controlled in the process by adjusting the volume ratio of glycerol in the sol-gel solution. The glycerol layers adsorbed on BiVO4 (BiVO4@glycerol) made it possible to form hydrogen bonds between BiVO4@glycerol and graphene oxide with the assistance of ultrasound. After thermal treatment, glycerol adsorbed on the BiVO4 particles formed amorphous carbon shells to link the particles and RGO. As a result, the obtained RGO-BiVO4@C nanocomposite showed a five times higher rate in O2 evolution from water under visible-light irradiation. Also, it demonstrated a six times higher photocatalytic performance enhancement than that of pure BiVO4 in the degradation of RhodamineB. The enhanced performance is attributed to the carbon shells that restrict the growth of BiVO4, the reduced graphene oxide that improves the electronic conductivity of the composite, and importantly, the bonds formed between the carbon shells and RGO that reduce the recombination loss of photogenerated charges effectively. The strategy is simple, effective, and can be extended to other ternary oxides with controlled size and high performance.