Rational design of ZnO-zeolite imidazole hybrid nanoparticles with reduced charge recombination for enhanced photocatalysis
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
School of Engineering
Australian Research Council
Semiconducting zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) hold great potential as photocatalysts in wastewater treatment because of their favorable bandgap and cost-effectiveness. Unfortunately, ZnO NPs usually show rapid charge recombination that limits their photocatalytic efficacy significantly. Herein, we report a facile way of modifying ZnO NPs with zeolite imidazole framework-8 (ZIF8). A synergy between the two components may tackle the drawback of fast charge recombination for pristine ZnO NPs. Improved performance of photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) is confirmed by comparing with pristine ZnO and ZIF8 as the catalysts. The ZIF8 in the composite serves as a trap for photogenerated electrons, thus reducing the rate of charge recombination to enhance the photocatalysis rate. In addition, the hybridization process suppresses the aggregation of ZnO NPs, providing a large surface area and a greater number of active sites. Moreover, a small shift in the absorption band of ZnO@ZIF8 (10) NPs towards higher wavelength, also witnessed a little contribution towards enhanced photocatalytic properties. Mechanistic studies of the photocatalytic process of MB using ZnO@ZIF8 NPs catalyst reveal that hydroxyl radicals are the major reactive oxygen species. The facile hybridization of ZnO with ZIF8 provides a strategy for developing new photocatalysts with wide application potential.