Synthesis of heteroatom-doped ZnO nanoparticles as an efficient visible light photocatalyst and its photoelectrochemical performance

Qiao, Ru ; Wu, Wenjie ; Zhu, Xiaodan ; Yin, Qiaoqiao ; Tan, Linxiang ; Ke, Xiaoxia


Heteroatom-doped ZnO nanoparticles (Zn1-xNixO NPs) have been synthesized by a simple solvothermal approach. The photocatalytic activity of the products has been evaluated by a photoassisted degradation of Rhodamine B in aqueous solution under visible light irradiation. All the heteroatom-doped semiconductors exhibit better photocatalytic activities than pure ZnO, with the 1 mol% Ni2+-doped ZnO showing the best photocatalytic activity. From the transient photocurrent response and electrochemical impedance spectroscopic experiments it is observed that the photogenerated charges of the Ni-doped ZnO show longer lifetime and higher separation than that of pure ZnO, leading to its superior visible light photoactivity. The active species tests indicate that the hydroxyl radical and active holes were primarily responsible for the enhanced photocatalytic performance of Rhodamine B, and the superoxide radical takes part partially in the oxidation process. A possible photocatalytic mechanism is proposed. Good photostability and reusability of the product show that the studied nanoparticles have potential application in dye wastewater treatment.


Catalysts, Photocatalysts, Zinc oxide, Ni doping, Nanoparticles, Photoelectrochemical properties

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