Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 2011022.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202011022

Special Issue: Design and Fabrication of Advanced Photocatalyst

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Fabrication of Graphene Quantum Dots Modified BiOI/PAN Flexible Fiber with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity

Rongan He, Rong Chen, Jinhua Luo, Shiying Zhang, Difa Xu()   

  • Received:2020-11-06 Accepted:2020-11-26 Published:2020-12-02
  • Contact: Difa Xu
  • About author:Difa Xu, Email:; Tel.: +86-13687382717
  • Supported by:
    the Natural Science Foundation of China(52073034);the Natural Science Foundation of China(21871030);the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province of China(2018JJ2457);the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province of China(2017JJ3340);the Scientific Research Fund of Hunan Provincial Education Department of China(18A370)


In environment remediation, photocatalytic oxidation is a promising technique for removing organic pollutants. Compared to adsorption, biodegradation, and chemical oxidation, photocatalytic oxidation can eliminate organic pollutants completely, conveniently, and cheaply in an environmentally friendly manner. Visible-light-driven photocatalytic oxidation is particularly advisable because of the high proportion of visible light energy in solar energy. Bismuth oxyiodide (BiOI) is a promising visible-light-driven photocatalyst for the oxidization of pollutants, not only because of its narrow band gap, but also for its relatively low valence band (VB), which is adequate for photogenerated holes to oxidize a variety of organic compounds. However, the shortcomings of BiOI powder, such the difficulty of recycling it, its low surface area, and fast carrier recombination, limit its practical applications. Meanwhile, the flexibility and hierarchical structure of photocatalysts are particularly advisable because these properties are beneficial for the convenient operation, recycling, and performance improvement of these materials. Herein, based on an electro-spun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber substrate, a hierarchical BiOI/PAN fiber was prepared through an in situ reaction. In the as-prepared BiOI/PAN fibers, BiOI flakes were aligned vertically and uniformly around the PAN fibers. BiOI nuclei generated from pre-introduced Bi(Ⅲ) in the PAN fiber act as seeds for the growth of BiOI nanoplates, which is crucial for the formation of a hierarchical structure. Such a hierarchical structure can improve both the light absorption and carrier generation of the BiOI/PAN fibers, as demonstrated by UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectra and photoluminescence emission. Therefore, the BiOI/PAN fibers exhibited higher photocatalytic activity than BiOI powder. When the BiOI/PAN fibers were decorated with pre-prepared graphene quantum dots (GQDs), a GQD-modified BiOI/PAN fibrous composite (GQD-BiOI/PAN) was fabricated. The morphology of the obtained GQD-BiOI/PAN fibers was nearly the same as that of the BiOI/PAN fibers. A step-scheme (S-scheme) heterojunction was formed between the GQDs and BiOI, which was confirmed by the fabrication method, photoluminescence emission, reactive radical tests, and XPS analysis. This kind of S-scheme heterojunction can not only effectively suppress the recombination of photogenerated holes, but can also reserve the more reductive electrons on the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of GQDs and the more oxidative holes on the VB of BiOI, for the photocatalytic degradation of phenol. Because of the fibrous hierarchical structure and S-scheme heterojunction, GQD-BiOI/PAN outperformed BiOI nanoparticles and BiOI/PAN nanofibers in the photocatalytic oxidation of phenol under visible light. In addition, because of tight bonding, GQD-BiOI/PAN can be tailored and operated by hand, which is convenient for recycling. During recycling, no obvious loss of sample or decrease in photocatalytic activity was observed. This work provides a new pathway for the fabrication of flexible photocatalysts and a new insight into the enhancement of photocatalysts.

Key words: Hierarchical, Photocatalytic oxidization, Phenol, S-scheme heterojunction, Visible light