Sol–gel synthesis of DyCrO3 and 10% Fe-doped DyCrO3 nanoparticles with enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen production abilities†
DyCrO3 and 10% Fe-doped DyCrO3 nanoparticles have been synthesized using a sol–gel method to investigate their performance in photocatalytic hydrogen production from water. The synthesized nanoparticles have been characterized by performing X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and UV-visible spectrophotometric measurements. In addition, field emission scanning electron microscopy has been performed to observe their size and shape. The Fe-doped DyCrO3 nanoparticles show a significantly smaller band gap of 2.45 eV compared to the band gap of 2.82 eV shown by the DyCrO3 nanoparticles. The Fe-doped DyCrO3 nanoparticles show better photocatalytic activity in the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) compared to the photocatalytic activity shown by both the DyCrO3 and Degussa P25 titania nanoparticles. The recycling and reuse of Fe-doped DyCrO3 four times for the photo-degradation of RhB shows that Fe-doped DyCrO3 is a stable and reusable photocatalyst. To evaluate the extent of the photocatalytic hydrogen production ability of the synthesized nanoparticles, a theoretical model has been developed to determine their “absorptance”, a measure of the ability to absorb photons. Finally, 10% Fe-doped DyCrO3 proves itself to be an efficient photocatalyst as it demonstrated three times greater hydrogen production than Degussa P25.