Synthesis, characterization and photocatalyticactivity of ZnFe2O4/TiO2 nanocomposite
A new nanocomposite material ZnFe2O4/TiO2 is prepared by a colloid chemistry method and characterized through X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy. The corresponding photocatalytic activity in the mineralization of phenol is evaluated in comparison with pure ZnFe2O4 and TiO2 nanomaterials. From XRD measurements, it is found that when annealed at relatively low temperature, ZnFe2O4 and TiO2 crystallite phases in the composite separate from each other, and when annealed at high temperature a solid reaction between ZnFe2O4 and TiO2 takes place. In addition, it is observed that the ZnFe2O4 nanoparticles seem to play a role in inhibiting the anatase-to-rutile phase transformation of TiO2. According to the phenol degradation, the ZnFe2O4/TiO2 nanocomposite is more effective as a photocatalyst than pure TiO2, showing that the nanocomposite approach could be an excellent choice to improve the photoactivity of TiO2.