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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2016, Article ID 4054351, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4054351
Research Article

Ag/AgCl Loaded Bi2WO6 Composite: A Plasmonic Z-Scheme Visible Light-Responsive Photocatalyst

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur Private, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 16 November 2015; Accepted 24 February 2016

Academic Editor: Ying Dai

Copyright © 2016 Xiangchao Meng and Zisheng Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hierarchical flower-like Bi2WO6 was successfully synthesized by facile hydrothermal method at low pH. And Ag/AgCl was loaded by photoreduction on its surface. As-prepared photocatalysts were characterized by various techniques. Bi2WO6 was successfully synthesized at a size of 2-3 μm. Depositing Ag/AgCl did not destroy the crystal structure, and both Ag+ and metallic Ag0 were found. The band gap of the composite was 2.57 eV, which indicates that visible light could be the activating irradiation. In the photocatalytic activity test, the composite with 10 wt% Ag/AgCl boasted the highest removal efficiency (almost 100%) in 45 min. The significant enhancement can be attributed to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect and the establishment of heterostructures between Ag/AgCl and Bi2WO6. A possible mechanism of photocatalytic oxidation in the presence of Ag/AgCl-Bi2WO6 was proposed. This work sheds light on the potential applications of plasmonic metals in photocatalysis to enhance their activities.