Visible light photocatalytic degradation of tetracycline with porous Ag/graphite carbon nitride plasmonic composite: Degradation pathways and mechanism

Weicheng Xu*, Shufeng Lai, Suresh C. Pillai, Wei Chu, Yun Hu, Xueding Jiang, Mingli Fu, Xiaolian Wu, Fuhua Li, Hailong Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Ag/g-C3N4 plasmonic photocatalysts with porous structure (Ag/PCN) were successfully synthesized via a thermal exfoliation strategy and photo-reduction method. Owing to the combined merits of porous structure and surface plasmon resonance effect of silver nanoparticles, the Ag/PCN catalysts exhibited excellent photocatalytic performance for the degradation of antibiotic agents. With the optimal Ag loading, the Ag/PCN-2 catalyst exhibited the optimal catalytic activity for TC degradation under visible light, which shows about 11.8 times enhancement in the photocatalytic removal efficiency as compared to pure g-C3N4, respectively. This phenomenon can be attributed to the increased specific surface area, broadened visible light absorption and improved charge separation. The radical quenching results confirmed that h+ and [rad]O2 radicals were the major active species during removal of TC. The degradation of TC is increased with the increment of Ag/PCN-2 catalysts, and the optimum catalyst was found to be 1.67 g/L. The hindering effect of selected of anions (Cl, CO3 , H2PO4 ) was found to follow the order H2PO4 > CO3 > Cl. Ag/PCN-2 sample also possessed high stability after six cycles of reuses. Furthermore, the possible degradation pathways of TC and photocatalytic mechanism over Ag/PCN-2 were proposed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Ag
  • Antibiotic
  • Degradation pathway
  • G-CN
  • Photocatalysis
  • Porous structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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