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CQDs Boost Photocatalytic Activity for Environmental, Energy Use

Photonics.com
Aug 2017
SHANGHAI, Aug. 24, 2017 — A novel approach to carbon quantum dot (CQD) use focuses on the research and design of CQD-modified photocatalysis, specifically on the introduction of CQDs into Bi2WO6 photocatalysts. When tested, the CQDs/Bi2WO6 photocatalyst demonstrated strong photocatalytic performance in pollutant degradation and hydrogen evolution.

CQDs have drawn interest as photocatalysts because they are nontoxic, benign, abundant and inexpensive. The study undertaken by researchers at Shanghai Institute of Technology and Nanjing University of Science and Technology investigated how the photo-absorption range could be broadened while increasing the charge separation efficiency of the CQD photocatalyst.

Researchers fabricated CQDs/Bi2WO6 nanocomposites and tested the impact of their photocatalytic activity on the photodegradation of organic pollutants and hydrogen production.

CQD photocatalyst, Shanghai Institute of Technology
Due to the excellent up-converted photoluminescence, photo-induced electron transfer and electron reservoir properties of CQDs, the CQDs/Bi2WO6 composite showed enhanced photo-absorption and charge separation, resulting in excellent photocatalytic performance. Courtesy of World Scientific.


The team observed that CQDs/Bi2WO6 composites possessed much higher photocatalytic activity in the degradation of both rhodamine B and phenol under simulated solar light after the hybridization with CQDs. Results were attributed to the excellent up-converted photoluminescence, photo-induced electron transfer and electron reservoir properties of CQDs.

Significantly different from pure Bi2WO6, the CQDs/Bi2WO6 composites also displayed excellent photocatalytic dihydrogen (H2) production activity. This could be attributed to the suitable conduction band edge and sufficient reduction ability of CQDs.

The research was published in NANO (doi: 10.1142/S1793292017500825).

GLOSSARY
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.
Research & TechnologyeducationAsia-Pacificoptoelectronicsindustrialenergyenvironmentquantum dotscarbon quantum dotsCQDphotocatalysisnanonanocompositeup-converted photoluminescencehydrogen production

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