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Template and Silica Interlayer Tailorable Synthesis of Spindle-like Multilayer α-Fe2O3/Ag/SnO2 Ternary Hybrid Architectures and Their Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity

Sun, Lingling, Wu, Wei, Yang, Shuanglei, Zhou, Juan, Hong, Mengqing, Xiao, Xiangheng, Ren, Feng, Jiang, Changzhong
ACS applied materials 2014 v.6 no.2 pp. 1113-1124
analytical methods, ferric oxide, nanocomposites, nanosilver, photocatalysis, seeds, semiconductors, silica, silver, tin dioxide
Our study reports a novel iron oxide/noble metal/semiconductor ternary multilayer hybrid structure that was synthesized through template synthesis and layer-by-layer deposition. Three different morphologies of α-Fe₂O₃/Ag/SiO₂/SnO₂ hybrid architectures were obtained with different thicknesses of the SiO₂ interlayer which was introduced for tailoring and controlling the coupling of noble metal Ag nanoparticles (NPs) with the SnO₂ semiconductor. The resulting samples were characterized in terms of morphology, composition, and optical property by various analytical techniques. The as-obtained α-Fe₂O₃/Ag/SiO₂/SnO₂ nanocomposites exhibit enhanced visible light or UV photocatalytic abilities, remarkably superior to commercial pure SnO₂ products, bare α-Fe₂O₃ seeds, and α-Fe₂O₃/SnO₂ nanocomposites. Moreover, the sample of α-Fe₂O₃/Ag/SiO₂/SnO₂ also exhibits good chemical stability and recyclability because it has higher photocatalytic activity even after eight cycles. The origin of enhanced photocatalytic activity on the multilayer core–shell α-Fe₂O₃/Ag/SiO₂/SnO₂ nanocomposites was primarily ascribed to the coupling between noble metal Ag and the two semiconductors Fe₂O₃ and SnO₂, which are proven to be applied in recyclable photocatalysis.