Enhanced near-infrared photocatalysis of NaYF4:Yb, Tm/CdS/TiO2 composites

Xingyuan Guo, Weihua Di, Changfeng Chen, Chunxu Liu, Xue Wang, Weiping Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


The previous works by our group (Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 2304-2306; ACS Catal., 2013, 3, 405-412; Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 14681-14688) have reported the near-infrared-driven photocatalysis of broadband semiconductor TiO2 or ZnO that was combined with upconverting luminescence particles to form a core-shell structure. However, the photocatalytic efficiency is low for this new type of photocatalysts. In this work, NaYF 4:Yb,Tm/CdS/TiO2 composites for NIR photocatalysis were prepared by linking CdS and TiO2 nanocrystals on the NaYF 4:Yb,Tm microcrystal surfaces. CdS and TiO2 were well interacted to form a heterojunction structure. The energy transfer between NaYF4:Yb,Tm and the semiconductors CdS and TiO2 was investigated by steady-state and dynamic fluorescence spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activities of the as-prepared composites were evaluated by the degradation of methylene blue in aqueous solution upon NIR irradiation. Significantly, it was found that the united adhesions of CdS and TiO2 on the NaYF4:Yb,Tm particle surfaces showed much higher catalytic activities than the individual adhesion of CdS or TiO2 on the NaYF4:Yb,Tm surfaces. This was attributed mainly to the effective separation of the photogenerated electron-hole pairs due to the charge transfer across the CdS-TiO2 interface driven by the band potential difference between them. The presented composite structure of upconverting luminescence materials coupled with narrow/wide semiconductor heterojunctions provides a new model for improved NIR photocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1054
Number of pages7
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - 21 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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