Photoelectrocatalytic degradation of methyl blue using sprayed WO3 thin films
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WO3 thin films have been deposited using simple chemical spray pyrolysis technique and successfully applied as photoanode for photoelectrocatalytic degradation of methylene blue. The films were deposited on bare glass and fluorine doped tin oxide coated glass substrates to study photoelectrochemical (PEC) properties, crystal structure, surface morphology, chemical composition and optical studies. The PEC results indicate that, the films deposited at 300 °C show the improved the photocurrent response relative to other deposited thin films. The monoclinic crystal structure of WO3 has been confirmed from X-ray diffraction studies. The Raman spectra of optimized films show two strong peaks at 271.34 and 327.27 cm−1 can be assigned to the bending δ (O\W\O) vibrations in the monoclinic WO3 structure. Field emission scanning electron microscopy showed that the film surface constituted of aggregates of very small seed like nanoparticles. UV–vis spectrophotometry shows that the WO3 film deposited at the 300 °C shows a band gap of ~2.66 eV and has emerged as one of the visible light photocatalysts, which can absorb light below 520 nm wavelength. The photocatalytic degradation of methyl blue has been investigated in aqueous solution. The removal of the color and decrease of UV–Visible absorbance was simultaneously able to show the oxidation of methylene blue dye.
The authors are very much thankful to Department of science and technology (DST), New Delhi for the financial support through the Science and engineering research board (SERB) research project no. SR/S2/CMP-62/2012 and Prof. C. H. Bhosale is thankful to University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, for awarding BSR faculty fellowship award F. No. 18-1/2011/BSR and Dr. N. G. Deshpande is thankful to Department of science and technology (DST) and the Indian National Science Academy for DST INSPIRE Faculty award IFA-13 PH-61/1Aug 2013.
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