The influence of photointercalaction and photochromism effects on the photocatalytic properties of electrochemically obtained maze-like MoO3 microstructures
Molybdenum oxide (α-MoO3) thin films with oriented crystalline facets were synthesised by anodization of Mo foils. The obtained samples were exposed to UV–Vis illumination in aqueous electrolytes providing different cations. The morphology and structure of modified samples were investigated. The effect of photointercalated alkali metal cations (Li+, Na+, K+) on optical and structural properties was studied using UV–vis and Raman spectroscopies, respectively. The observed energy band gap narrowing caused by the photochromic effect is found to affect the photocatalytic properties of the intercalated oxide. The photoactivity of obtained samples was tested during the photocatalytic process of methylene blue decomposition in the presence of 0.1 M Li2SO4, Na2SO4, K2SO4. After 2 h of continuous illumination, the photodecomposition efficiency of MB in the presence of K2SO4, Na2SO4 and Li2SO4 was 67%, 69% and 76%, respectively, whereas when no inorganic salt had been dissolved it reached only 57%.
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