Hydrothermal Synthesis of Bismuth Ferrite Hollow Spheres with Enhanced Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity

Thomas Cadenbach, Valeria Sanchez, Daniela Chiquito Ríos, Alexis Debut, Karla Vizuete, Maria J. Benitez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, semiconductor hollow spheres have gained much attention due to their unique combination of morphological, chemical, and physico-chemical properties. In this work, we report for the first time the synthesis of BiFeO3 hollow spheres by a facile hydrothermal treatment method. The mechanism of formation of pure phase BiFeO3 hollow spheres is investigated systematically by variation of synthetic parameters such as temperature and time, ratio and amount of precursors, pressure, and calcination procedures. The samples were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. We observe that the purity and morphology of the synthesized materials are very sensitive to synthesis parameters. In general, the chemically and morphologically very robust hollow spheres have diameters in the range of 200 nm to 2 μm and a wall thickness of 50-200 nm. The synthesized BiFeO3 hollow spheres were applied as catalysts in the photodegradation of the model pollutant Rhodamine B under visible-light irradiation. Notably, the photocatalyst demonstrated exceptionally high removal efficiencies leading to complete degradation of the dye in less than 150 min at neutral pH. The superior efficiencies of the synthesized material are attributed to the unique features of hollow spheres. The active species in the photocatalytic process have been identified by trapping experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5079
Issue number13
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2023


  • Rhodamine B
  • bismuth ferrite
  • hollow spheres
  • hydrothermal
  • photocatalysis
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Photolysis
  • Light
  • Bismuth


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