Photocatalytic Performance of Undoped and Al-Doped ZnO Nanoparticles in the Degradation of Rhodamine B under UV-Visible Light:The Role of Defects and Morphology

Alessandra Piras, Chiara Olla, Gunter Reekmans, An Sofie Kelchtermans, Dries De Sloovere, Ken Elen, Carlo Maria Carbonaro, Luca Fusaro, Peter Adriaensens, An Hardy, Carmela Aprile, Marlies K. Van Bael

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Résumé

Quasi-spherical undoped ZnO and Al-doped ZnO nanoparticles with different aluminum content, ranging from 0.5 to 5 at% of Al with respect to Zn, were synthesized. These nanoparticles were evaluated as photocatalysts in the photodegradation of the Rhodamine B (RhB) dye aqueous solution under UV-visible light irradiation. The undoped ZnO nanopowder annealed at 400 °C resulted in the highest degradation efficiency of ca. 81% after 4 h under green light irradiation (525 nm), in the presence of 5 mg of catalyst. The samples were characterized using ICP-OES, PXRD, TEM, FT-IR, 27Al-MAS NMR, UV-Vis and steady-state PL. The effect of Al-doping on the phase structure, shape and particle size was also investigated. Additional information arose from the annealed nanomaterials under dynamic N2 at different temperatures (400 and 550 °C). The position of aluminum in the ZnO lattice was identified by means of 27Al-MAS NMR. FT-IR gave further information about the type of tetrahedral sites occupied by aluminum. Photoluminescence showed that the insertion of dopant increases the oxygen vacancies reducing the peroxide-like species responsible for photocatalysis. The annealing temperature helps increase the number of red-emitting centers up to 400 °C, while at 550 °C, the photocatalytic performance drops due to the aggregation tendency.

langue originaleAnglais
Numéro d'article15459
journalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Numéro de publication24
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - déc. 2022

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