Synergistic effects of the hybridization between boron-doped carbon quantum dots and n/n-type g-C3N4 homojunction for boosted visible-light photocatalytic activity

Sue Jiun Phang, Jiale Lee, Voon-Loong Wong, Lling-Lling Tan, Siang-Piao Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dye wastewater has raised a prevalent environmental concern due to its ability to prevent the penetration of sunlight through water, thereby causing a disruption to the aquatic ecosystem. Carbon quantum dots (CQDs) are particularly sought after for their highly tailorable photoelectrochemical and optical properties. Simultaneously, graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has gained widespread attention due to its suitable band gap energy as well as excellent chemical and thermal stabilities. Herein, a novel boron-doped CQD (BCQD)-hybridized g-C3N4 homojunction (CN) nanocomposite was fabricated via a facile hydrothermal route. The optimal photocatalyst sample, 1-BCQD/CN (with a 1:3 mass ratio of boron to CQD) accomplished a Rhodamine B (RhB, 10 mg/L) degradation efficiency of 96.8% within 4 h under an 18 W LED light irradiation. The kinetic rate constant of 1.39 × 10-2 min-1 achieved by the optimum sample was found to be 3.6- and 2.8-folds higher than that of pristine CN and un-doped CQD/CN, respectively. The surface morphology, crystalline structure, chemical composition and optical properties of photocatalyst samples were characterized via TEM, FESEM-EDX, XRD, FTIR, UV-Vis DRS and FL spectrometer. Based on the scavenging tests, it was revealed that the photogenerated holes (h+), superoxide anions (∙O2-) and hydroxyl radicals (∙OH) were the primary reactive species responsible for the photodegradation process. Overall, the highly efficient 1-BCQD/CN composite with excellent photocatalytic activity could provide a cost-effective and robust means to address the increasing concerns over global environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date28 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • (s): Photocatalysis
  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Graphitic carbon nitride
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Chemistry

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