Graphene oxide-based zirconium oxide nanocomposite for enhanced visible light-driven photocatalytic activity
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In the present investigation, an efficient visible light-active, graphene oxide-based zirconium oxide nanocomposite (GO–ZrO2) has been synthesized by co-precipitation method. The synthesized photocatalyst was characterized by XRD, FTIR, FE-SEM, EDS, TEM, TGA, PL, UV-DRS and BET surface area analysis. The characterization results illustrate the homogeneous dispersion of ZrO2 nanoparticles in the GO–ZrO2 nanocomposite with excellent harmony between GO and ZrO2 nanoparticles. The photocatalytic efficiency of the synthesized GO–ZrO2 nanocomposite was evaluated by photodegradation of hazardous, water-soluble rhodamine B and methylene blue dyes under visible light irradiation. The 90% photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B dye (with initial conc. 30 mg/L) was observed in 105 min of visible light irradiation, while 99.23% of methylene blue (with initial conc. 100 mg/L) dyes degradation was observed in just 60 min using 25 mg/100 ml dose of GO–ZrO2 nanocomposite as a photocatalyst. The mechanistic investigation using scavengers suggest that the superoxide (O 2 ·− ) is the most reactive species involved in the photodegradation of organic dyes. The synthesized photocatalyst GO–ZrO2 nanocomposite also exhibits excellent thermal stability and reusability.
KeywordsGraphene oxide Zirconium oxide Co-precipitation method Rhodamine B Methylene blue Visible light Photocatalytic activity
We would like to thank the director, VNIT, Nagpur, India, for providing financial assistance. We are also thankful to the Sophisticated Test and Instrumentation Center, Kerala, Cochin University, for providing instrument facility for our research work. We are also thankful to Punjab University, Chandigarh, and SAIF Madras, for providing the instrumental facility. We are also thankful to the Dr. R. S. Gedam, Department of Physics, VNIT, Nagpur,, for providing the instrumental facility.
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