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Issue 22, 2012
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Fabrication of composite photocatalyst g-C3N4–ZnO and enhancement of photocatalytic activity under visible light

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Abstract

The g-C3N4–ZnO composite photocatalysts with various weight percents of ZnO were synthsized by a simple calcination process. The photocatalysts were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), UV-vis diffuse reflection spectroscopy (UV-vis), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The PXRD and HR-TEM results show that the composite materials consist of hexagonal wurzite phase ZnO and g-C3N4. The solid-state UV-vis diffuse reflection spectra show that the absorption edge of the composite materials shifts toward the lower energy region and to longer wavelengths in comparison with pure ZnO and g-C3N4. Remarkably, the photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4–ZnO composites has been demonstrated, via photodegradation of Methyl Orange (MO) and p-nitrophenol experiments. The photocatalytic activity of g-C3N4–ZnO for photodegradation of Methyl Orange and p-nitrophenol under visible light irradiation was increased by over 3 and 6 times, respectively, to be much higher than that of single-phase g-C3N4, clearly demonstrating a synergistic effect between ZnO and g-C3N4. The concentrations of Zn2+ in g-C3N4–ZnO system after a photocatalytic reaction at various reaction times were found to be much lower than those for a ZnO system under the same reaction conditions, indicating that the g-C3N4–ZnO composite possesses excellent long-term stability for a photocatalytic reaction in aqueous solutions. Furthermore, a synergistic photocatalysis mechanism between ZnO and g-C3N4 was proposed based on the photodegradation results. Such obviously improved performance of g-C3N4–ZnO can be ascribed mainly to the enhancement of electron–hole separations at the interface of ZnO and g-C3N4.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication of composite photocatalyst g-C3N4–ZnO and enhancement of photocatalytic activity under visible light

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Dec 2011, accepted on 28 Mar 2012, published on 28 Mar 2012 and first published online on 28 Mar 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2DT12474B
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2012,41, 6756-6763
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    Fabrication of composite photocatalyst g-C3N4–ZnO and enhancement of photocatalytic activity under visible light

    J. Sun, Y. Yuan, L. Qiu, X. Jiang, A. Xie, Y. Shen and J. Zhu, Dalton Trans., 2012, 41, 6756
    DOI: 10.1039/C2DT12474B

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