Facile fabrication of tunable Bi 2O 3 self-assembly and its visible light photocatalytic activity

Manickavachagam Muruganandham, Ramakrishnan Amutha, Gang Juan Lee, Shu Han Hsieh, Jerry J. Wu, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we report the fabrication of various morphological bismuth oxides (α-Bi 2O 3) by a self-assembly process using bismuth oxalates as precursors. Barlike Bi 2(C 2O 4) 3·7H 2O and microrod-like (BiOHC 2O 4) 2·H 2O were synthesized by using bismuth nitrate with oxalic acid in a simple mixing and hydrothermal process and are hereafter referred to as bismuth oxalate-1 and bismuth oxalate-2, respectively. The thermal decomposition of bismuth oxalate-2 at 300 and 400 °C for 2 h yields aggregate-free honeycomb brushlike and wormlike morphological Bi 2O 3, respectively. We first report the formation of both the above-mentioned novel morphological bismuth oxides. However, the decomposition of bismuth oxalate-1 results in microspheres with bundle-shaped particles and wormlike bundles with microflower morphologies at 300 and 400 °C, respectively. The influences of hydrothermal temperature, time, and bismuth precursor on the formation of bismuth oxalate-2 were investigated. The synthesized bismuth oxalates and Bi 2O 3 were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and nitrogen adsorption analysis. The XRD patterns indicated that well-crystallized α-Bi 2O 3 was formed in the thermal decomposition process from both precursors. The FE-SEM images indicated the formation of well-organized honeycomb brush-like and worm-like morphologies. The photocatalytic degradation of Acid Orange 7 (AO7) dye by using the synthesized bismuth oxides was investigated, and the results showed superior photocatalytic activity of the honeycomb brushlike Bi 2O 3. We propose a plausible mechanism for the formation of various morphologies of Bi 2O 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12906-12915
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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