Crystal facet engineering - our new article in J. Material Chemistry A

Improving the photo-oxidative capability of BiOBr via crystal facet engineering
An increased presence of the {010} facet improved the performance of BiOBr for both water photooxidation and formic acid photodegradation.

Charge separation within a semiconductor plays a critical role in defining photocatalytic activity. Material modification methods including doping, co-catalyst addition and crystal facet manipulation have been used to promote electron/hole separation and improve photocatalytic activity. In the paper published in J. Mater Chem A, we reported the studies on the potential of BiOBr for photocatalytic water splitting, examining the impact of crystal facet on photocatalytic oxygen evolution. Plate-like BiOBr with varying dominant facets were prepared using a simple chemical precipitation approach. By controlling the acid strength during synthesis, BiOBr particles with dominant {001} or {010} crystal facets were prepared and their performance as photocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and organic oxidation was examined. The BiOBr characteristic that was influenced by the facet and, in turn, defined the photocatalytic performance was identified. Additionally, similarities between thin film photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation and particulate-based photocatalytic oxidation were observed, signifying the {010} facets of BiOBr are generically crucial for improving its photoactivity. The findings demonstrate the significance of BiOBr crystal facet engineering in regulating photocatalyst performance for oxidation-type reactions.

Read full article: J. Mater. Chem A., 2017, 5, 8117- 8124 (doi:10.1039/C6TA10964K)