Alkali Niobate and Tantalate Perovskites as Alternative Photocatalysts


Alkali tantalates and niobates are listed as important photocatalysts for the development of renewable energy technologies and environmental remediation. Herein, the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye in aqueous solution by using highly crystalline particles with perovskite-like structures, LiTaO3, LiNbO3, NaTaO3, NaNbO3, KNbO3, and KTaO3, is investigated. It is demonstrated that ferroelectric KNbO3 is the most efficient photocatalyst of those tested because it combines an electronic band structure that can respond successfully to UVA light with a relatively high surface energy that enhances the catalytic properties. Additionally, the built-in electric field due to internal polarization of ferroelectric particles may contribute to the unique properties of this functional photocatalyst. This work provides an ideal platform for the rational design of more efficient ferroelectric-based photocatalytic devices.



subject category

Chemistry; Physics


Zlotnik, S; Tobaldi, DM; Seabra, P; Labrincha, JA; Vilarinho, PM

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007679 (FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and, where appropriate, co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. S.Z. acknowledges the FCT (SFRH/BD/67023/2009). The authors thank Sulata K. Sahu and Alexandra Navrotsky of the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory, University of California, Davis, for valuable discussions.

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