Graphene-Ag/ZnO nanocomposites as high performance photocatalysts under visible light irradiation

Ahmad, M., Ahmed, E., Hong, Z. L. , Khalid, N. R., Ahmed, W. and Elhissi, A. (2013) Graphene-Ag/ZnO nanocomposites as high performance photocatalysts under visible light irradiation. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 577 . pp. 717-727. ISSN 0925-8388

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Abstract

Visible-light-responsive Graphene-Ag/ZnO nanocomposites were fabricated using a facile, one-pot, nontoxic solvothermal process for the photodegradation of organic dyes. During the solvothermal process reduction of graphene oxide and loading of Ag-doped ZnO nanoparticles on two-dimensional graphene sheets were achieved. Electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, BET surface area measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction were used to confirm that the Ag-doped ZnO nanoparticles as randomly dispersed and effectively decorated on graphene sheets via covalent bonds between Zn and C atoms. Optical properties studied using UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy confirmed that the absorption edge of Ag-doped ZnO shifted to visible-light region with the incorporation of graphene. The as-synthesized Graphene-Ag/ZnO nanocomposites showed unprecedented photodecomposition efficiency compared to the Ag-doped ZnO, pristine ZnO and commercial ZnO under visible-light. The textile mill effluent containing organic substances was also treated using photocatalysis and the reduction in the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the treated effluent revealed a complete destruction of the organic molecules along with colour removal. This dramatically enhanced photoactivity of the composite which is attributed to retarded charge recombination rate, great adsorption of dyes, enhanced visible light absorption and fast transfer processes. This research has the potential to provide new avenues for the in situ fabrication of the Graphene-Ag/ZnO composites as highly efficient photocatalysts. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:BET surface area measurement, Energy dispersive x-ray, Optical spectroscopy, Powder X ray diffraction, UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, Visible light absorption, Visible-light irradiation, Visible-light-responsive, Catalysis, Chemical oxygen demand, Composite materials, Effluents, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Metal nanoparticles, Nanocomposites, Photodegradation, Photoelectrons, Semiconductor materials, Silver, Synthesis (chemical), X ray diffraction, X ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Zinc oxide, Graphene
Divisions:College of Science > School of Mathematics and Physics
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ID Code:27142
Deposited On:05 Jul 2017 13:09

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