Ag sensitized TiO2 and NiFe2O4 three-component nanoheterostructures: synthesis, electronic structure and strongly enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

A. Šutka, T.
Käämbre, R. Pärna, N. Doebelin, M. Vanags, K. Smits and V. Kisand

This study reports on the synthesis and characterisation of two- and three-component visible light active photocatalytic
nanoparticle heterostructures, based on TiO2 and NiFe2O4 and sensitized with Ag. We observe that Ag content as small as
1 at.% in the TiO2/NiFe2O4 heterostructure increases by more than an order of magnitude the rate constant for the visible
light photocatalytic process. We rationalise this in terms of the measured structure and electronic structure data of the
binary and ternary combinations of the component materials and focus on details, which show that an optimised
deposition sequence is vital for attaining the high values of photocatalytic efficiency, because the charge transfer across
the interfaces appears to be sensitive to where the Ag is loaded in the heterostructure. The overall higher visible light
photocatalytic activity of the TiO2/Ag/NiFe2O4 heterostructure was observed and is attributed to enhanced charge carrier
separation efficiency and migration via vectorial electron transfer.

RSC Advances., 2016,

DOI: 10.1039/C6RA00728G

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