A comparative study of photocatalytically active nanocrystalline tetragonal zyrcon-type and monoclinic scheelite-type bismuth vanadate

Slobodan D.Dolić, Dragana J.Jovanović, Krisjanis Smits, Biljana Babić, Milena Marinović-Cincović, Slavica Porobić, Miroslav D.Dramićanin

Monoclinic scheelite-type BiVO4 is currently considered as one of the most promising non-titania photocatalysts, wheras tetragonal zircon-type BiVO4 is still poorly understood. Herein, a new and simple synthetic approach was applied and nanostructured single-phase zircon-type BiVO4 was successfully prepared by a controllable ethylene-glycol colloidal route. In addition, nanostructured monoclinic scheelite-type BiVO4 powders were also fabricated through annealing of the as-prepared samples. A comparative study of the two BiVO4 polymorphs was conducted and it turned out that the novel synthetic approach had a significant impact on porosity and photocatalytic performance of zircon-structured BiVO4. All the prepared materials, as-prepared and annealed, were mesoporous, while measured values of specific surface area of some zircon-structured samples (∼34 m2/g) were ∼7 times higher than those reported thus far for this phase. Interestingly, for the first time, zircon-type BiVO4, previously considered to be a poor photocatalyst, exhibited a better overall performance in degradation of methyl orange compared to monoclinic scheelite-type BiVO4. Hence, it could be expected that the here-presented synthesis and observations will both arouse interest in scarcely studied tetragonal zircon-type BiVO4 and facilitate as well as speed up further research of its properties.

Published in Ceramics International

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