Hierarchical nitrogen doped bismuth niobate architectures: Controllable synthesis and excellent photocatalytic activity

Jungang Hou, Rui Cao, Zheng Wang, Shuqiang Jiao, Hongmin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrogen doped bismuth niobate (N-Bi 3NbO 7) hierarchical architectures were synthesized via a facile two-step hydrothermal process. XRD patterns revealed that the defect fluorite-type crystal structure of Bi 3NbO 7 remained intact upon nitrogen doping. Electron microscopy showed the N-Bi 3NbO 7 architecture has a unique peony-like spherical superstructure composed of numerous nanosheets. UV-vis spectra indicated that nitrogen doping in the compound results in a red-shift of the absorption edge from 450nm to 470nm. XPS indicated that [Bi/Nb]N bonds were formed by inducing nitrogen to replace a small amount of oxygen in Bi 3NbO 7-xN x, which is explained by electronic structure calculations including energy band and density of states. Based on observations of architectures formation, a possible growth mechanism was proposed to explain the transformation of polyhedral-like nanoparticles to peony-like microflowers via an Ostwald riping mechanism followed by self-assembly. The N-Bi 3NbO 7 architectures due to the large specific surface area and nitrogen doping exhibited higher photocatalytic activities in the decomposition of organic pollutant under visible-light irradiation than Bi 3NbO 7 nanoparticles. Furthermore, an enhanced photocatalytic performance was also observed for Ag/N-Bi 3NbO 7 architectures, which can be attributed to the synergetic effects between noble metal and semiconductor component.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 30


  • Architectures
  • Bismuth niobate
  • Nitrogen doped
  • Photocatalyst
  • Visible-light


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