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Microwave synthesis and photocatalytic activity of Tb3+ doped BiVO4 microcrystals

Wang, Ying, Liu, Fuyang, Hua, Yingjie, Wang, Chongtai, Zhao, Xudong, Liu, Xiaoyang, Li, Hongdong
Journal of colloid and interface science 2016 v.483 pp. 307-313
crystals, hot water treatment, irradiation, methylene blue, microwave treatment, photocatalysis, terbium
Tb³⁺ doped BiVO4 has been successfully synthesized by a simple microwave-assisted hydrothermal method at 140°C for 30min. The structure, morphology and optical property of the Tb³⁺ doped BiVO4 products have been systematically investigated. This study indicates that the incorporation of Tb³⁺ could induce the conversion of structure from monoclinic to tetragonal for BiVO4. Furthermore, the as-obtained Tb³⁺ doped BiVO4 samples showed an obvious morphological change: the hollow square rod-like BiVO4 crystal gradually changed to spindle-like crystal. The Tb³⁺ doped BiVO4 products exhibited extraordinary photocatalytic activity for Methylene Blue (MB) degradation under visible light irradiation. The doped BiVO4 at a molar ratio of 2at% (Tb and Bi) with a mixture of monoclinic and tetragonal phases showed and prominent photocatalytic degradation rate, which reached 99.9% in 120min. The results suggest that the differences in the photocatalytic activity of these BiVO4 crystals with different Tb³⁺ doping concentrations can be attributed to the change of crystalline phases, and the coexistence of the monoclinic/tetragonal phases in BiVO4 products, which improve the efficient charge separation and transportation.