High-speed solid state fluorination of Nb2O5yields NbO2F and Nb3O7F with photocatalytic activity for oxygen evolution from water

Martin Alexander Lange, Ibrahim Khan, René Dören, Muhammad Ashraf, Ahsanulhaq Qurashi, Leon Prädel, Martin Panthöfer, Marcus Von Der Au, Antje Cossmer, Jens Pfeifer, Björn Meermann, Mihail Mondeshki, Muhammad Nawaz Tahir, Wolfgang Tremel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solid state reactions are slow because the diffusion of atoms or ions through the reactant, intermediate and crystalline product phases is the rate-limiting step. This requires days or even weeks of high temperature treatment, and consumption of large amounts of energy. We employed spark-plasma sintering, an engineering technique that is used for high-speed consolidation of powders with a pulsed electric current passing through the sample to carry out the fluorination of niobium oxide in minute intervals. The approach saves time and large amounts of waste energy. Moreover, it allows the preparation of fluorinated niobium oxides on a gram scale using poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (®Teflon) scrap and without toxic chemicals. The synthesis can be upscaled easily to the kg range with appropriate sintering equipment. Finally, NbO2F and Nb3O7F prepared by spark plasma sintering show significant photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) oxygen evolution from water in terms of photocurrent density and incident photon-to-current efficiency (% IPCE), whereas NbO2F and Nb3O7F prepared by conventional high temperature chemistry show little to no PEC response. Our study is a proof of concept for the quick, clean and energy saving production of valuable photocatalysts from plastic waste.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)6528-6538
Number of pages11
JournalDalton Transactions
Volume50
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 May 2021

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