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Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance and Mechanism of Ag3PO4 Particles Synthesized via a Sonochemical Process

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A facile sonochemical method was used to synthesize Ag3PO4 particles and the effect of pH value, reaction temperature and reaction time on the products was investigated. It is found that the samples prepared at neutral (pH = 7) and alkaline (pH = 11) environments exhibit a similar particle morphology and size. The particles are shaped like spheres with a size distribution majorly focusing on a range of 200–450 nm, and the average particle size is about 300 nm. The sample prepared at acidic environment (pH = 3) is composed of polyhedral microparticles with size of 5–8 μm. At relatively low temperatures of 20–50 °C, the spherical nanoparticles do not undergo obvious morphology/size changes; however, when the temperature is increased up to 80 °C, the nanoparticles are aggregated to form large-sized polyhedral microparticles in the size range of 4–7 μm. Compared to the pH value and reaction temperature, the reaction time has a minor effect on the morphology of Ag3PO4 particles. RhB was chosen as the target pollutant to evaluate the photocatalytic activity of the as-prepared Ag3PO4 samples under simulated-sunlight irradiation. It is shown that the samples consisting of spherical nanoparticles exhibit an extremely high photocatalytic activity, and the degradation percentage of RhB after reaction for 50 min reaches over 90%. The samples of polyhedral microparticles have a relatively low photocatalytic activity, which is possibly due to their large particle size. Hydroxyl (.OH) radical was detected by spectrofluorimetry using terephthalic acid as a .OH scavenger and was not found to be produced over the simulated-sunlight-irradiated Ag3PO4 catalyst. The effect of ethanol, benzoquinone and ammonium oxalate on dye degradation was also investigated. Based on experimental results, the direct oxidation by h + is suggested to the dominant mechanism toward the dye degradation.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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