Synthesis of porous Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets and their electrocatalytic, photocatalytic, and antibacterial performances

  • Lu PanEmail author
  • Qiyong Zhu
  • Dong Tian
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for catalytic, photoelectrochemical and sensor applications


ZnCo2O4 and Ag/ZnCo2O4 with different Ag contents were fabricated by calcining their precursors synthesized via a combined precipitation-hydrothermal method. The as-prepared products were characterized by TG, XRD, TEM, and FE-SEM, respectively. The resultant results exhibited that both ZnCo2O4 and Ag/ZnCo2O4 samples possessed porous and sheet-like structure. The as-synthesized samples were modified directly on the glassy carbon electrode, and their electrocatalytic performances for the reduction of p-nitrophenol in the alkaline solution were investigated. The results displayed that the electrocatalytic property of Ag/ZnCo2O4 products was higher than ZnCo2O4. Additionally, the Ag/ZnCo2O4 products with high Ag content showed higher electrocatalytic property. The photocatalytic properties of the Ag/ZnCo2O4 composite nanosheets for degrading methyl orange were investigated with assistance of H2O2 under irradiation of visible light. Ag/ZnCo2O4 composites even with a lower Ag content (2%) exhibited higher photocatalytic activity. The antibacterial activity of ZnCo2O4 and composite Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets to several common Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was examined. The results demonstrated that the Ag/ZnCo2O4 composites displayed excellent activity even with a lower Ag content (2%) while ZnCo2O4 exhibited weak antibacterial activity.


  • Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets can be synthesized via an easily controlled procedure.

  • Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets with a lower Ag content exhibit higher electrocatalytic activity.

  • Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets with a lower Ag content possess higher photocatalytic performance.

  • Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets can be used antibacterial reagents and have higher antibacterial activity.


Ag/ZnCo2O4 nanosheets Electrocatalysis Photocatalysis Bacteriostasis 



This study was supported by the University Nature Science Research Project of Anhui Province, China (Grant no. KJ2015A208), the Nature Science Fund of Anhui Province, China (Grant no. 1608085MB33 and 1808085ME109) and College’s Innovation Projects of Anhui Province, China (Grant no. 201710381003), respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Materials EngineeringHuainan Normal UniversityHuainanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Anhui Key Laboratory of Low temperature Co-fired MaterialHuainan Normal UniversityHuainanPeople’s Republic of China

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