Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 30, 2019, Issue in Progress
Previous Article Next Article

Surfactant-assisted microwave processing of ZnO particles: a simple way for designing the surface-to-bulk defect ratio and improving photo(electro)catalytic properties

Author affiliations

Abstract

ZnO nanopowders were produced using microwave processing of a precipitate and applied as a photoanode for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Two different surfactants, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as the cationic and Pluronic F127 as the non-ionic one, were employed to in situ adjust the surface-to-bulk defect ratio in the ZnO crystal structure and further to modify the photo(electro)catalytic activity of the ZnO photoanode. The crystal structure, morphological, textural, optical and photo(electro)catalytic properties of ZnO particles were studied in detail to explain the profound effects of the surfactants on the photoanode activity. The ZnO/CTAB photoanode displayed the highest photocurrent density of 27 mA g−1, compared to ZnO (10.4 mA g−1) and ZnO/F127 photoanodes (20 mA g−1) at 1.5 V vs. SCE in 0.1 M Na2SO4 under visible illumination of 90 mW cm−2. A significant shift of the overpotential toward lower values was also observed when photoanodes were illuminated. The highest shift of the overpotential, from 1.296 to 0.248 V vs. SCE, was recorded when the ZnO/CTAB photanode was illuminated. The ZnO/CTAB photoanode provides efficient charge transfer across the electrode/electrolyte interface, with a longer lifetime of photogenerated electron–hole pairs and reduced possibility of charge recombination. The photoconversion efficiency was improved from 1.4% for ZnO and 0.9% for ZnO/F127 to 4.2% for ZnO/CTAB at 0.510 mV. A simple procedure for the synthesis of ZnO particles with improved photo(electro)catalytic properties was established and it was found that even a small amount of CTAB used during processing of ZnO increases the surface-to-bulk defect ratio. Optimization of the surface-to-bulk defect ratio in ZnO materials enables increase of the absorption capacity for visible light, rendering of the recombination rate of the photogenerated pair, as well as increase of both the photocurrent density and photoconversion efficiency.

Graphical abstract: Surfactant-assisted microwave processing of ZnO particles: a simple way for designing the surface-to-bulk defect ratio and improving photo(electro)catalytic properties

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 04 Apr 2019, accepted on 21 May 2019 and first published on 03 Jun 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9RA02553G
RSC Adv., 2019,9, 17165-17178
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
  •   Request permissions

    Surfactant-assisted microwave processing of ZnO particles: a simple way for designing the surface-to-bulk defect ratio and improving photo(electro)catalytic properties

    S. Marković, I. Stojković Simatović, S. Ahmetović, L. Veselinović, S. Stojadinović, V. Rac, S. D. Škapin, D. Bajuk Bogdanović, I. Janković Častvan and D. Uskoković, RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 17165
    DOI: 10.1039/C9RA02553G

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements