Nanocasting synthesis of BiFeO3 nanoparticles with enhanced visible-light photocatalytic activity

Thomas Cadenbach, Maria J. Benitez, A. Lucia Morales, Cesar Costa Vera, Luis Lascano, Francisco Quiroz, Alexis Debut, Karla Vizuete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this work, monodisperse BiFeO3 nanoparticles with a particle diameter of 5.5 nm were synthesized by a nanocasting technique using mesoporous silica SBA-15 as a hard template and pre-fabricated metal carboxylates as metal precursors. To the best of our knowledge, the synthesized particles are the smallest BiFeO3particles ever prepared by any method. The samples were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. The phase purity of the product depends on the type of carboxylic acid used in the synthesis of the metal precursors, the type of solvent in the wet impregnation process, and the calcination procedure. By using tartaric acid in the synthesis of the metal precursors, acidified 2-methoxyethanol in the wet impregnation process and a calcination procedure with intermediate plateaus, monodisperse 5.5 nm BiFeO3 nanoparticles were successfully obtained. Furthermore, the nanoparticles were applied in photodegradation reactions of rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible-light irradiation. Notably, the cast BiFeO3 nanoparticles demonstrated very high efficiencies and stability under visible-light irradiation, much higher than those of BiFeO3 nanoparticles synthesized by other synthetic methods. The possible mechanism in the photodegradation process has been deeply discussed on the basis of radical trapping experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1822-1823
Number of pages2
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
StatePublished - 2020


  • SBA-15
  • bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3)
  • dye
  • nanocasting
  • photocatalysis
  • rhodamine B


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