Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of Semiconductor Nanocomposites Doped with Ag Nanoclusters Under UV and Visible Light

Jorge González-Rodríguez, Lucía Fernández, Yanina B. Bava, David Buceta, Carlos Vázquez-Vázquez, Manuel Arturo López-Quintela, Gumersindo Feijoo, Maria Teresa Moreira
2019 Catalysts  
Emerging contaminants (ECs) represent a wide range of compounds, whose complete elimination from wastewaters by conventional methods is not always guaranteed, posing human and environmental risks. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), based on the generation of highly oxidizing species, lead to the degradation of these ECs. In this context, TiO2 and ZnO are the most widely used inorganic photocatalysts, mainly due to their low cost and wide availability. The addition of small amounts of
more » ... amounts of nanoclusters may imply enhanced light absorption and an attenuation effect on the recombination rate of electron/hole pairs, resulting in improved photocatalytic activity. In this work, we propose the use of silver nanoclusters deposited on ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO–Ag), with a view to evaluating their catalytic activity under both ultraviolet A (UVA) and visible light, in order to reduce energetic requirements in prospective applications on a larger scale. The catalysts were produced and then characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). As proof of concept of the capacity of photocatalysts doped with nanoclusters, experiments were carried out to remove the azo dye Orange II (OII). The results demonstrated the high photocatalytic efficiency achieved thanks to the incorporation of nanoclusters, especially evident in the experiments performed under white light.
doi:10.3390/catal10010031 fatcat:teol6oe6ebbc5hcrqpqhqjbkyu