Large-scale aqueous synthesis of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanoparticles for photocatalytic degradation of ciprofloxacin†
Environmentally friendly synthesis of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) nanoparticles (NPs) is pivotal for producing sustainable photocatalytic compounds to be applied in the remediation of contaminants of emerging concern from water. To this end, we herein report an aqueous synthesis of CIGS NPs, followed by annealing, to give access to phase-pure CIGS crystals with chalcopyrite structure and no signs of secondary phases. Morphological and compositional characterization revealed NPs with an average size of 10–35 nm and uniform distribution of Cu, In, Ga, and Se elements. In addition, the first aqueous large-scale synthesis of CIGS NPs is developed by up-scaling the synthesis procedure, resulting in 5 g of highly crystalline nanoparticles exhibiting an ideal optical band gap of 1.14 eV. The as-synthesized NPs proved the ability to remove 71 and 83% of a contaminant of emerging concern, ciprofloxacin (CIP), under ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) radiations, respectively.