Technology and Engineering
  • ISSN: 2333-2581
  • Modern Environmental Science and Engineering

Effect of Copper Dopants on Visible-Light-Driven Photocatalytic Activity of BiFeO3 Photocatalysts

Buagun Samran1, Pacharee Krongkitsiri2, and Saranyoo Chaiwichian2
1. Division of Physics, Faculty of Science, Nakhon Phanom University, Thailand
2. Department of Science and Mathematics, Faculty of Industry and Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan,


Abstract: In this study, visible-light- induced BiFeO3 nanoparticles have been successfully synthesized by a co-precipitation method with different copper (Cu) concentrations varying from 0.5-5.0 mol%. The physicochemical properties of the as-synthesized samples were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-specific surface area, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Photoluminescence (PL) and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis DRS) techniques. It was shown that the doping of Cu2+ had no effect on the phase structure of BiFeO3 but displays a considerable role on the photocatalytic activity. Results showed that the doped Cu into BiFeO3 could significantly enhance the photocatalytic activity of BiFeO3 for methyl orange (MO) degradation under visible light irradiation, which was attributed to Cu ions acting as electron traps and inhibited quick recombination of photogenerated charge carriers. The photocatalytic results demonstrated that Cu-BiFeO3 exhibited higher photodegradation than pure BiFeO3. Moreover, the stability and long-time reusability of the sample was also examined by five recycles for the photodegradation testing of MO under visible light irradiation.

Key words: BiFeO3, Nanoparticles, Co-precipitation method, Methyl orange, Photocatalytic activity

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