BiOCl/ultrathin polyaniline core/shell nanosheets with a sensitization mechanism for efficient visible-light-driven photocatalysis

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  • ReceivedMar 7, 2018
  • AcceptedApr 19, 2018
  • PublishedMay 11, 2018


Photocatalytic technology holds great promise in renewable energy and environmental protection. Herein, we report the synthesis of a class of polyaniline-sensitized BiOCl core/shell nanosheets with visible-light photocatalytic activity by a one-step oxidative polymerization method and show how the hybrid nanosheet boosts the photocatalytic activity and stability for degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB). In this unique structure, the ultrathin polyaniline (PANI) as a shell with the thickness of about 1–2 nm, can widen the response of the catalyst to visible light to boost photocatalysis and the BiOCl core can promote the separation of photogenerated carriers from the PANI. We demonstrate that the optimized BiOCl/PANI core/shell photocatalyst shows nearly three times higher photocatalytic activity for the degradation of RhB than pure BiOCl and also shows high stability. This work provides a new strategy for the design of a highly efficient hybrid photocatalyst driven by visible light.

Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51772255)

Hunan Natural Science Foundation(2016JJ3123)

the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFB0100201)

the start-up supports from Peking University and Young Thousand Talented Program.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51772255), Hunan Natural Science Foundation (2016JJ3123), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFB0100201) and the start-up supports from Peking University and Young Thousand Talented Program.

Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Li H and Guo S designed and engineered this work; Tang Y performed the experiments and wrote the paper with support from Zhou P. All authors contributed to the general discussion.

Author information

Yonghua Tang is a graduate student at Xiangtan University. He is currently studying in the College of Engineering of Peking University. His research focuses on the synthesis of nanostructures and their applications in photocatalytic degradation and hydrogen production.

Hongxing Li is a professor at Xiangtan University. His research focuses on the synthesis and application of nanostructured materials and photoelectrochemistry.

Shaojun Guo is currently a professor of materials science and engineering with a joint appointment at the Department of Energy & Resources Engineering at the College of Engineering, Peking University. He received his BSc in chemistry from Jilin University (2005), PhD, in analytical chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2010), worked as a postdoctoral research associate from Jan. 2011 to Jun. 2013 at Brown University and earned the very prestigious position of J. Robert Oppenheimer Distinguished Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2014–2017, he was selected by Thomson Reuters into their prestigious list of the world's most Highly Cited Researchers. His research interests are in engineering nanocrystals and 2D materials for catalysis, renewable energy, sensors, and therapy.


Supplementary information

Supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.


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