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The development of a heterostructured semiconductor photocatalyst makes a significant advancement in catalytic technologies. Highly crystalline Bi2S3–ZnO nanosheets with a hierarchical structure have been successfully synthesized by a facile sonochemical process and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area measurements. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis reveals that the as synthesized product has an orthorhombic phase of Bi2S3 and a hexagonal wurtzite phase of ZnO. XPS analysis shows the presence of the elements Zn, O, Bi and S and their oxidation states. Bi2S3–ZnO has increased absorption in the UV region as well as in the visible region. This heterostructured nano catalyst has a higher photocatalytic activity for the degradation of Acid Black 1 (AB 1) under UV-A light than pure ZnO, Bi2S3 and commercial Degussa P25. The heterojunction in the Bi2S3–ZnO photocatalyst has led to low recombination rates of photoinduced electron–hole pairs and an enhanced photocatalytic activity. Bi2S3–ZnO is advantageous in AB 1 degradation because of its reusability and higher efficiency at neutral pH 7.
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