, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 387-396
Date: 05 Feb 2009

Preparation, characterization and activity evaluation of p–n junction photocatalyst p-NiO/n-ZnO

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Abstract

In this paper, p–n junction photocatalyst NiO/ZnO was prepared by the sol–gel method using Ni (NO3)2 and zinc acetate as the raw materials. The structural and optical properties of the p–n junction photocatalyst NiO/ZnO were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, UV–Vis diffuse reflection spectrum (DRS) and the fluorescence emission spectra. The photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst was evaluated by photocatalytic reduction of Cr2O7 2− and photocatalytic oxidation of methyl orange (MO). The results showed that the photocatalytic activity of the p–n junction photocatalyst NiO/ZnO is much higher than that of ZnO on the photocatalytic reduction of Cr2O7 2−. However, the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst is much lower than that of ZnO on the photocatalytic oxidation of methyl orange. Namely, the p–n junction photocatalyst NiO/ZnO has higher photocatalytic reduction activity, but lower photocatalytic oxidation activity. The heat treatment condition also influences the photocatalytic activity strongly, and the best preparation condition is about 400 °C for 2 h. Effect of the heat treatment condition on the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst was also investigated. The mechanisms of influence on the photocatalytic activity were discussed by the p–n junction principle.