Does the low optical band gap of yellow Bi3YO6 guarantee the photocatalytical activity under visible light illumination?
Bi3YO6, which is known as an ionic conductor, was tested here as an electrode and photoanode in contact with aqueous electrolytes. Bi3YO6 was deposited onto the Pt substrate and the such prepared electrode was polarized in various aqueous electrolytes. The optical energy band gap of the material equal to 1.89 eV was determined using the Kubelka-Munk function resulting from the UV-Vis spectrum (allowed indirect transition) and also was calculated using the semi-empirical PM7 method (3.38 eV of HOMO-LUMO energy gap). Despite the yellow color of Bi3YO6, the tested material exhibits photoelectroactivity only in the UV range of electromagnetic radiation. The anodic photocurrent characteristic for n-type metal oxide semiconductors was recorded. The electrode exhibits diffusion-controlled cathodic activity while polarized in chloride-free aqueous electrolytes.
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