Neem (Azadirachta indica) gum assisted sol–gel synthesis and characterization of ZnO nanoparticles for photocatalytic application
Neem (Azadirachta indica) gum-assisted sol–gel process was newly explored for the synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles. Neem gum plays a vital role as an effective chelating agent for Zn2+ ions, which enables the uniform distribution of metal ions throughout the gum matrix, which was identified by FTIR and SEM-EDX analysis. Thermal decomposition of the dried gel results in the formation of ultrafine ZnO nanoparticles as low as 450 °C. FTIR and XRD analyses confirm the formation of phase pure ZnO nanoparticles without any organic residues. TEM investigation identified the formation of poly-dispersed ZnO nanoparticles with the size range between 30 and 110 nm. Its optical activity was analyzed employing UV–Vis and PL studies. The synthesized ZnO nanoparticles showed excellent photocatalytic performance in degrading trypan blue organic dye under the exposure of UV radiation and ~ 97% of the trypan blue was degraded in 180 min.
KeywordsAzadirachta indica gum Combustion synthesis ZnO nanoparticles Photo catalysis
The authors express sincere thanks to Sophisticated Test and Instrumentation Centre (STIC), Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin, Kerala, India, and International Research Centre (IRC), Kalasalingam University, Tamilnadu, India, for providing their valuable support for various analytical services. SV acknowledges University Grants Commission (UGC) for the financial support for this research activity through the Minor Research Project (MRP/UGC-SERO-Proposal No. 1593).
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