A novel method was used to synthesize orthorhombic FeNbO4 nanoparticles by a hydrothermal process followed by calcination at 600°C, and their optical, photoelectrochemical, and photocatalytic properties were investigated. The microstructural and local structural properties were characterized using X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Raman spectroscopy. The FeNbO4 particles obtained were composed of much smaller nanocrystallines, with an average size of 10-20 nm, compared to particles prepared at 1000°C through a conventional solid-state reaction method. Moreover, the optical band gap energy of the nanoparticles was estimated to be 1.93 eV from the UV-vis diffuse reflectance, and their flat-band potential in 1 M NaOH was -0.4 V (SCE). The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis revealed that the nanoparticles had fewer surface defects, such as oxygen vacancies, than the particles prepared by the solid-state reaction method. The FeNbO 4 nanoparticles also exhibited a much higher photocatalytic activity for the degradation of rhodamine B dye solution under visible light irradiation (>420 nm). This higher photocatalytic activity of the FeNbO4 nanoparticles was attributed to their higher optical absorption ability and smaller particle size, as well as fewer surface defects.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Chemistry C|
|Publication status||Published - 2008 Nov 27|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films