Photocatalytic solar water splitting has the potential to become a low-carbon source of hydrogen fuel over the coming decades if the issue of low visible light absorption can be addressed without sacrificing chemical stability. We report on an investigation into the potential of the Bi–W-oxides, Bi2WO6 and Bi6WO12, as visible light photocatalysts. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy have been used to assess the structure of the oxides, whilst UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy analysed with the Kubelka–Munk function has been used to identify their optical band gaps.
It has been revealed that Bi6WO12 shows significantly higher optical absorption in the region above 440 nm than either Bi2O3 or WO3, raising the possibility of enhanced photocatalytic activity under solar illumination. Bi2WO6 has a marginally lower band gap at 2.59 eV than Bi2O3 or WO3 but the results reported herein raise doubts concerning its chemical stability under aqueous, illuminated conditions for protracted periods of time.
© 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Finlayson, A.P., Tsaneva, V.N., Lyons, L., Clark, M. and Glowacki, B.A., 2006. Evaluation of Bi–W‐oxides for visible light photocatalysis. physica status solidi (a), 203(2), pp.327-335.
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