Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 296, Issue 9, pp 1479–1489 | Cite as

Sensitization of narrow band gap Bi2S3 hierarchical nanostructures with polyaniline for its enhanced visible-light photocatalytic performance

  • Surbhi Sharma
  • Neeraj KhareEmail author
Original Contribution


Hierarchical nanostructures of bismuth sulfide (Bi2S3) have been synthesized in orthorhombic phase by hydrothermal method. Conducting polymer polyaniline (PANI) has been synthesized by the chemical oxidative polymerization method and further coupled with Bi2S3 in various weight percentages (1, 2, 5, and 10 wt%) of PANI/Bi2S3 nanocomposite by chemisorption method. The potentiality of these prepared nanostructures has been investigated for the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) aqueous solutions. Among all, PANI/Bi2S3 (5 wt%) nanocomposite displayed the highest photodegradation efficiency. An ~ 9-fold augment in the photocatalytic activity of bismuth sulfide has been found after its incorporation in PANI matrix. This enhancement is ascribed to the formation of staggered heterojunction and interfacial sites between PANI and Bi2S3 that suppressed recombination of photogenerated charge carriers leading to quicker deterioration of MB. The mechanism for the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue has been proposed. Based on our results, it is suggested that the coupling of conducting polymer with metal chalcogenides is an important approach for solving the environmental remediation challenge.

Graphical abstract

Hierarchical nanostructures of Bi2S3 have been synthesized by facile hydrothermal method and coupled with conducting polymer polyaniline (PANI) via simple chemisorption method. A remarkable improvement in the photocatalytic efficiency of Bi2S3 has been observed after coupling with PANI. The enhancement in the photocatalytic efficiency of Bi2S3 after incorporating in PANI is attributed to the faster transfer of photogenerated charge carriers at the interface due to the formation of type II heterojunction between matched band edges of PANI and Bi2S3. The present study focuses on designing new nanocomposite photocatalyts for achieving enhanced visible-light-driven photocatalytic performance and improved photoresponse of narrow band gap materials.


Bismuth sulfide Nanoflowers Polyaniline Heterojunction Photodegradation 



We are thankful to the Nanoscale Research Facility (NRF), IIT Delhi, for providing the technical support for XRD, PL, and SEM characterizations.

Funding information

This study received financial support from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with project no. RP03117 and MeitY.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

396_2018_4362_MOESM1_ESM.docx (859 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 859 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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