Perovskite-type KTaO3–reduced graphene oxide hybrid with improved visible light photocatalytic activity
Novel rGO–KTaO3 composites with various graphene content were successfully synthesized using a facile solvothermal method which allowed both the reduction of graphene oxide and loading of KTaO3 nanocubes on the graphene sheets. The as-prepared photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) specific surface area, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and photoluminescence (PL) emission spectroscopy. The obtained rGO–KTaO3 composites showed greatly improved photocatalytic performance for degradation of phenol under visible light irradiation (λ > 420 nm) over pristine KTaO3 which could be related to the photosensitizer role of graphene in the rGO–KTaO3 composites as well as the formation of p–n heterojunctions between KTaO3 nanocubes and rGO sheets. The highest photocatalytic activity in phenol degradation reaction was observed for rGO–KTaO3 hybrid with 30 wt% graphene. The enhanced photoactivity of this composite could be attributed to the synergistic effect of several factors such as: small crystallite size, extended absorption range in the visible spectrum and intimate contact between graphene and KTaO3 cubes.