Catalysis Letters

, Volume 142, Issue 6, pp 771–778 | Cite as

Visible-Light-Driven Photodegradation of Rhodamine B on Ag-Modified BiOBr

  • Lufeng Lu
  • Liang Kong
  • Zheng Jiang
  • Henry H.-C. Lai
  • Tiancun Xiao
  • Peter P. Edwards


Ag-modified BiOBr composite photocatalysts were prepared via a simple phase-transfer methodology and used for cleanup of Rhodamine B (RhB) aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. X-ray diffraction, ultraviolet–visible diffuse reflectance spectra (UV–Vis-DRS) and high resolution X-ray photoelectron spectra characterizations confirmed the Ag-modification significantly affected the optical property, structures and reactivity of the BiOBr-based photocatalysts. In the Ag-modification process, a large portion of Ag+ may extract Br1− from BiOBr and the as-formed AgBr epitaxially located along the {102} crystal surface of BiOBr. The rest Ag+ will be either photo-reduced by methanol into Ag0 or form Ag2O. In nature, the Ag-modified BiOBr materials are multi-junction photocatalysts of Ag/Ag2O/AgBr/BiOBr. The Ag-modification can greatly enhance the absorption of visible light but deteriorates the photocatalytic activity in comparison to the primitive BiOBr in visible-light-driven photodegradation of RhB. The activity of RhB photodegradation on such catalysts is inversely proportional to AgBr loading within 0.2–2.0 wt% region. Such unusual photocatalytic performance was tentatively attributed to the special band structure of the materials.


Visible light Photocatalysis BiOBr Ag modification Rhodamine B 

Graphical Abstract

Ag-modified BiOBr photocatalysts have been prepared via a photodeposition synthesis and used for visible-light-responsive photodegradation of refractory Rh.B. The metallic Ag, AgBr and Ag2O species were formed on the p-type BiOBr in the synthesis process and significantly affected their photocatalytic performance. The unusual photocatalytic performance of such photocatalysts was tentatively attributed to their multi-junction structure on basis of experimental evidence and theoretical analysis.



This work was financially supported by the principal’s major fund at Jesus College, University of Oxford, Oxford Challenge Seed Fund and UK Photocatalysis Network. Jiang appreciates Sir John Houghton Fellowship at Jesus College (Oxford), Shell Foundation, and the grants of Royal Society (TG092414 and TG101750). Lufeng thanks the financial support from Sinopec, China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryInorganic Chemistry LaboratoryOxfordUK
  2. 2.Jesus College, University of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of ExeterPenrynUK

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