Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics

, Volume 30, Issue 17, pp 16321–16336 | Cite as

Visible-light-responsive photocatalyst with a microsphere structure: preparation and photocatalytic performance of CQDs@BiOCl

  • Xiaosong Gu
  • Qiutong Yan
  • Ying Wei
  • Yujie Luo
  • Yaofang Sun
  • Deqiang Zhao
  • Fangying JiEmail author
  • Xuan XuEmail author


In this study, the effects of carbon quantum dot (CQD) doping on the photocatalytic performance of semiconductor BiOCl microspheres were investigated. Highly dispersed CQDs with up-conversion luminescence properties were prepared using the hydrothermal method, and visible-light-responsive CQDs@BiOCl photocatalysts with regular morphology were prepared via CQD doping. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) spectroscopy were used to investigate the morphology and light absorption properties of the materials. The degradation rate of rhodamine B (RhB) was 76.1% after 180 min of visible-light irradiation when CQDs@BiOCl were used and only 19.4% when pure BiOCl was used. The photoluminescence (PL), UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectra (UV–Vis DRS) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) results were analyzed to determine the possible reasons for the increased photocatalytic activity of CQDs@BiOCl microspheres. The results showed CQD doping expanded the visible light absorption range, CQDs exhibited fast photoinduced electron transfer, and CQDs@BiOCl possessed high mesoporosity, which promoted the effective separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. In addition, the microsphere structure of CQDs@BiOCl exhibited a larger specific surface area and a more regular morphology than its sheet-like structure. These features increased the number of photocatalytic reaction sites and the surface adsorption of the catalyst. In addition, the electronic conjugated structure of CQDs was demonstrated to function as an effective electron trap. CQD doping effectively inhibited the photogenerated electron–hole pair recombination of the composite photocatalyst, which enhanced the photocatalytic performance of the system.



This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China [2018YFD1100501]; Science and Technology Innovation Special Projects of Social Undertakings and Livelihood Support, Chongqing [cstc2016shmszx20009]; and the Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology [cstc2017jcyjBX0080].

Author contributions

XX, FJ, XG, YW conceived of the study and designed the experiments; XG, YL, QY performed the experiments; XG, YS and DZ analyzed the data; XX, YW contributed reagents, materials and analysis tools; and XG wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest with regard to the publication of this paper.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Reservoir Region’s Eco-Environment, Ministry of EducationChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.National Centre for International Research of Low-Carbon and Green BuildingsChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Aojoa Ecology and Environment Technology Co., Ltd.ShanghaiChina

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