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Metal oxide heterostructures for efficient photocatalysts

Abstract : Photocatalytic processes over semiconducting oxide surfaces have attracted worldwide attention aspotentially efficient, environmentally friendly and low cost methods for water/air purification as well as forrenewable hydrogen production. However, some limitations to achieve high photocatalytic efficiencies havebeen found due to the fast recombination of the charge carriers. Development of heterostucture photocatalystsby depositing metals on the surface of semiconductors or by coupling two semiconductors with suitable bandedge position can reduce recombination phenomena by vectorial transfer of charge carriers. To draw newprospects in this domain, three different kinds of heterostructures such as n-type/n-type semiconductor(SnO2/ZnO), metal/n-type semiconductor (RuO2/TiO2 and RuO2/ZnO) and p-type/n-type semiconductor(NiO/TiO2) heterojunction nanomaterials were successfully prepared by solution process. Their composition,texture, structure and morphology were thoroughly characterized by FTIR, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Ramanspectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and N2 sorption measurements. On the other hand, asuitable combination of UV–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS) and ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy (UPS) data provided the energy band diagram for eachsystem. The as-prepared heterojunction photocatalysts showed higher photocatalytic efficiency than P25 TiO2for the degradation of organic dyes (i.e. methylene blue and methyl orange) and the production of hydrogen.Particularly, heterostructure RuO2/TiO2 and NiO/TiO2 nanocomposites with optimum loading of RuO2 (5 wt %)and NiO (1 wt %), respectively, yielded the highest photocatalytic activities for the production of hydrogen.These enhanced performances were rationalized in terms of suitable band alignment as evidenced by XPS/UPSmeasurements along with their good textural and structural properties. This concept of semiconductingheterojunction nanocatalysts with high photocatlytic activity should find industrial application in the future toremove undesirable organics from the environment and to produce renewable hydrogen.
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Md. Tamez Uddin. Metal oxide heterostructures for efficient photocatalysts. Other. Université Sciences et Technologies - Bordeaux I; Technische Universität (Darmstadt, Allemagne), 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013BOR14859⟩. ⟨tel-00879226⟩

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