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Photocatalytic Activity and Selectivity of ZnO Materials in the Decomposition of Organic Compounds

Authors

  • Dr. Feng Lin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
    2. Current Address: Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (USA)
    • Feng Lin, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

      Vasile I. Pârvulescu, Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, Bdul Regina Elisabeta, 4-12, Bucharest 030016 (Romania)

      Ryan M. Richards, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

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  • Dr. Bogdan Cojocaru,

    1. Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, Bdul Regina Elisabeta, 4-12, Bucharest 030016 (Romania)
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  • Chia-Ling Chou,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
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  • Dr. Christopher A. Cadigan,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
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  • Yazhou Ji,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
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  • Dr. Dennis Nordlund,

    1. Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (USA)
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  • Dr. Tsu-Chien Weng,

    1. Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (USA)
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  • Prof. Dr. Zhifeng Zheng,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
    2. College of Materials Engineering, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224 (China)
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  • Prof. Dr. Vasile I. Pârvulescu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, Bdul Regina Elisabeta, 4-12, Bucharest 030016 (Romania)
    • Feng Lin, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

      Vasile I. Pârvulescu, Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, Bdul Regina Elisabeta, 4-12, Bucharest 030016 (Romania)

      Ryan M. Richards, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

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  • Prof. Dr. Ryan M. Richards

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)
    • Feng Lin, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

      Vasile I. Pârvulescu, Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis Faculty of Chemistry, University of Bucharest, Bdul Regina Elisabeta, 4-12, Bucharest 030016 (Romania)

      Ryan M. Richards, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Materials Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (USA)

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Abstract

ZnO and Li-doped ZnO photocatalysts were prepared by using a solvothermal method, aided by a supercritical drying technique. The structure and morphology of the photocatalysts were investigated by using SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV/Vis and Raman spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity and selectivity were investigated in the aqueous-phase photodegradation of methylene blue and phenol as model reactions. Herein, it is reported for the first time that Li doping can lead to significant deactivation of the photocatalytic activity (i.e., decreased oxidization capability) of ZnO materials. The distribution of intermediate products (i.e., selectivity) was also significantly modified in the decomposition of phenol catalyzed by Li-doped ZnO compared to that catalyzed by ZnO. Photoluminescence (PL) and soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) studies suggested that dopant-induced surface-defect states acted as electron–hole combination centers and changed the adsorbate/surface binding, thus causing the deactivation of photocatalytic activity and altering the photocatalytic selectivity in Li-doped ZnO materials.

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