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Zn(II)-Doping Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of Cu2 O Nanocrystals

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Zn(II)-doped octahedral and hexahedral Cu2O nanocrystals were synthesized with a green and gentle process. It was found that Zn-doping both tuned the Cu2O polyhedrons into quasi-spheres and decreased their sizes. The reduced lattice parameter as demonstrated in X-ray diffraction patterns (XRD), the increased binding energy of Cu(I) in X-ray photoelectron spectrum (XPS) and the uniform elemental distribution as exhibited in energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping image provided solid evidence for the successful doping of Zn(II) in Cu2O nanocrystals. Zn(II) was verified to be surface enrichment, which might protect Cu2O from oxidation. Enhanced photocatalytic activity was observed with the degradation of methyl orange (MO) and methylene blue (MB) as the model reactions when the Zn-doping concentration was lower than 1%. UV-visible absorption spectra of the Zn-doped products showed red-shift in comparison with the pure Cu2O counterparts. The decreased band gap and the retarded oxidation were believed to be responsible for the improved catalytic activity. This method provides a new idea for the controlled synthesis of other doping materials and the study of the related photocatalytic activity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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