With a bandgap energy of ≈3.3 eV at room temperature, zinc oxide (ZnO) exhibits physical properties that make it a potential candidate for several technological applications. Sustainable development requires, among other actions, removal of organic pollutants by employing non-toxic structures, which can be achieved considering the photocatalytic properties of ZnO. In this work, high optical and structural quality ZnO crystals with distinct morphologies (nanotetrapods and microrods) are produced by laser-processing. By adding silver to the growth precursors it is possible to produce ZnO/Ag composites in a single and short step, boosting a synergetic conjugation of the properties of both materials. The ZnO structures produced with and without silver are fully characterized by electronic microscopy and optical spectroscopy. Moreover, their photocatalytic activity is analyzed using methylene blue as a model-test contaminant, revealing that the nanotetrapods exhibit a better performance than the microrods. This effect is further enhanced by the presence of silver on the ZnO surface, hindering the photoinduced carriers’ recombination, as corroborated by the photoluminescence results.
|Journal||Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Oct 2018|