Facile Fabrication and Mechanism of Single-Crystal Sodium Niobate Photocatalyst: Insight into the Structure Features Influence on Photocatalytic Performance for H2 Evolution
Single-crystal sodium niobate with wire- and cube-like structures has been created by a facile and eco-friendly route including a hydrothermal as well as in-site self-assembled process via optimizing thermal treatment temperature. Comparative studies were carried out to evaluate the structure and phase transformation during the fabrication course. A possible growth mechanism of NaNbO3 with controllable morphologies was elucidated based on the time- and temperature-dependent evolution experiments. In addition, special attention was paid to figure out the mutual relationship between the unique structure features and photocatalytic performance toward photocatalytic H2 evolution. The results illustrated that the NaNbO3 nanowires formed at 500 °C calcinations exhibited the highest photocatalytic activity compared with other materials and presented super stability as well. The superior photocatalytic performance could be interpreted in terms of the better crystalline, fewer defects, and perfect 1D nanowire morphology as demonstrated by TEM and SEM images, FT-IR, and Raman spectroscopy analysis. Additionally, a deep insight into the underlying of the photocatalytic reaction mechanism was proposed. These findings shed light on an efficient and facile pathway for the creation and formation mechanisms of photocatalytic materials, which provided new opportunities for solar-energy conversion.