Innovative visible light photocatalytic activity for V-doped ZrO2 structure: optical, morphological, and magnetic properties

  • Mohammed Ahmed Wahba
  • Saad Mabrouk YakoutEmail author
Original Paper: Industrial and technological applications of sol–gel and hybrid materials


A new visible light sensitive photocatalysts based on Zr1−xVXO2 (x = 1, 3, 5, and 7) compositions for treatment of organic dyes in wastewater were investigated. Pure and V-doped ZrO2 samples were prepared by sol–gel techniques. The XRD results of the pure ZrO2 confirmed the formation of single phase tetragonal structure. Dopant-induced structure transition from the tetragonal to monoclinic phase. Based on SEM micrographs, mixture of spherical-nanorods architectures was formed in all samples with a volume ratio related to V concentration. Enhanced visible light absorption and an amazing red shift in the absorption edge were noticed in V doped ZrO2 samples. The magnetic properties of V doped ZrO2 exhibited room temperature ferromagnetism with varied hysteresis loops shape. Zr0.97V0.03O2 structure revealed a notable ferromagnetism with complete saturation magnetization of 0.038 emu/g and coercivity of 1200 Oe. Except Zr0.93V0.07O2 structure, all V doped ZrO2 samples showed significant photocatalytic activity when irradiated with visible light. The highest photocatalytic efficiency, ~100%, for methylene blue (MB) dye degradation was achieved through Zr0.95V0.05O2 catalyst under visible light irradiation time of 150 minutes. Vanadium played a major role in oxygen vacancies formation and separation of photo-induced electron–hole pairs which enriched the visible light photocatalytic activity.


  • Effective visible light photocatalysts based on V-doped ZrO2 nanostructures were synthesized by sol gel method.

  • Vanadium as dopant induced remarkable red shifts in the band gap energy of ZrO2.

  • 3 wt% V-doped ZrO2 sample exhibited room temperature ferromagnetism with saturation magnetization of 0.038 emu/g and coercivity of 1200 Oe.

  • High photocatalytic activity, ~100%, for methylene blue dye degradation was achieved through 5 wt% V doped ZrO2 catalyst under visible light irradiation for 150 minutes.


V-doped ZrO2 Band gap Ferromagnetism Visible light photocatalytic Oxygen vacancies 


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.Inorganic Chemistry DepartmentNational Research Centre (NRC)CairoEgypt

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