Solvent polarity resulted in different structures and photocatalytic abilities of Ag/ZnO composites

  • Lu Fang
  • Xiaoli Zhang
  • Ji Xiang
  • Ming Zhao
  • Bin Zheng
  • Lei BaiEmail author
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for energy, environment and building applications


Different silver/zinc oxide (Ag/ZnO) heterostructures were successfully fabricated via a simply solvothermal method by changing the solvents, such as water and methanol. Based on the polarity of the solvent used, the morphology of the ZnO and Ag/ZnO could be controlled to discuss the influence of the structure and activity. Our results of the photocatalytic degradation of dyes under UV and visible light suggested that the activities of the Ag/ZnO was close to their structures and it was revealed that the Ag/ZnO with one dimension structure demonstrated much higher activity than that with a flower shape, which was possibly ascribed to the high aspect ratio, surface defects of the ZnO and synergistic effect of metallic Ag. The present work provided an example for the design of ZnO based functional materials with high performances for water pollutant treatment.

Zinc oxide (ZnO) microflower and nanorod as well as the corresponding Ag/ZnO composites were synthesized by a solvothermal method. The photocatalytic results suggested that the ZnO nanorod and Ag/ZnO composite obtained in methanol demonstrated higher activities compared with those synthesized in distilled water, due to the structural advantage and synergistic effect of metallic Ag.


  • ZnO and Ag/ZnO nanorods and microflowers were obtained.

  • The polarity of solvents profoundly affected the structure and activity of ZnO and Ag/ZnO.

  • The higher activity of Ag/ZnO obtained in methanol was possibly ascribed to the structural advantage of the ZnO and synergistic effect of metallic Ag.


Ag/ZnO heterostructures Solvent polarity Photodegradation Organic dye 



This work was supported by Natural Science Research Project of Anhui Education Department (KJ2019A0718, KJ2019A0719, KJ2019A0720).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10971_2019_5181_MOESM1_ESM.doc (522 kb)
Supplementary Information


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Chemical engineeringHefei Normal UniversityHefeiChina
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Materials EngineeringAnhui Science and Technology UniversityBengbuChina

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