Microemulsion synthesis and photocatalytic activity of visible light-active BiVO4 nanoparticles
ABSTRACT A water-in-oil microemulsion made up of a cyclohexane/n-hexyl alcohol/Polyethylene glycol tertoctylphenyl/aqueous solution
including Bi3+ and VO3+ ions yields the spherical BiVO4 precursors with the size from 5 to 300 nm. Well-crystallized monoclinic scheelite BiVO4 particles with nanometer or micrometer size are fabricated in control by heating microemulsion precursors under various temperatures.
The corresponding nucleation and growth process of as-prepared samples has also been investigated via TEM, which demonstrates
the detailed morphological evolution of nuclei inside the precursors. As-prepared BiVO4 photocatalysts exhibit enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible-light irradiation in comparison with the bulk BiVO4 prepared by solid-state reaction. The highest RB degrading efficiency of 98% in 180 min under visible-light irradiation is
observed for the sample calcined at 600 °C.