Plasmonic Bi/ZnWO₄ microspheres with improved photocatalytic activity on NO removal under visible light

Yunxia GAO, Yu HUANG, Yan LI, Qian ZHANG, Junji CAO, Wing Kei HO, Shun Cheng Frank LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, bismuth (Bi) nanoparticle anchored ZnWO4 microspheres (Bi/ ZnWO₄) were prepared and used as robust and efficient photocatalysts for NO removal at parts-per-billion level under visible light irradiation. The as-synthesized composite with a proper mass ratio of Bi (50%) displayed a higher reaction rate (0.067 min⁻¹) than its single counterparts ZnWO₄ (0.004 min⁻¹) and Bi (0.027 min⁻¹), respectively. Due to the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effect of Bi nanoparticles, the Bi/ ZnWO₄ composites showed broad light absorption in the visible spectrum. Moreover, the formation of the Bi/ZnWO₄ heterointerface promoted the separation of photoexcited electron-hole pairs, which is demonstrated by the increased photocurrent density in comparison to the pristine materials. The above characteristics endowed the Bi/ZnWO₄ composites with superior photocatalytic activity for NO removal. The radical scavanger tests revealed that the superoxide radical was the main active species to initiate NO oxidation, while the hydroxyl radical was not involved in the process. This study shows practical value in air pollutant abatement, because it provides an economical and feasible route to fabricate SPR-enhanced composite photocatalysts using earth abundant Bi material instead of noble metals. Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6912-6920
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number12
Early online dateOct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016



Gao, Y., Huang, Y., Li, Y., Zhang, Q., Cao, J.-j., Ho, W., et al. (2016). Plasmonic Bi/ZnWO₄ microspheres with improved photocatalytic activity on NO removal under visible light. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 4(12), 6912-6920.


  • Bi/ZnWO₄ nanocomposites
  • Intermediates
  • NO removal
  • Photocatalysis
  • Surface plasmon resonance effect (SPR)