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Open AccessArticle

Duality in the Mechanism of Hexagonal ZnO/CuxO Nanowires Inducing Sulfamethazine Degradation under Solar or Visible Light

1
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL-SB-ISIC-GPAO, Station 6, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
2
Chemicobiology and Functional Materials Institute, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(11), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9110916
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 29 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 2 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalysis and Environment)
This study presents the first evidence for the photocatalytic performance of ZnO/CuxO hexagonal nanowires leading to sulfamethazine (SMT) degradation. The chemical composition of the nanowires was determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The sample with the composition ZnO/Cux = 1.25O led to faster SMT-degradation kinetics. The SMT-degradation kinetics were monitored by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The morphology of the hexagonal nanowires was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mapped by EDX. The redox reactions during SMT degradation were followed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The interfacial potential between the catalyst surface and SMT was followed in situ under solar and indoor visible light irradiation. SMT-degradation was mediated by reactive oxidative species (ROS). The interfacial charge transfer (IFCT) between ZnO and CuxO is shown to depend on the type of light used (solar or visible light). This later process was found to be iso-energetic due to the potential energy positions of ZnO and CuxO conduction bands (cb). The intervention of surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) species in the SMT degradation is discussed.
Keywords: metal-oxide nanowires; photocatalysis; sulfamethazine degradation; interfacial charge transfer; surface plasmon resonance metal-oxide nanowires; photocatalysis; sulfamethazine degradation; interfacial charge transfer; surface plasmon resonance
MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, J.; Kiwi, J.; Wang, T.; Pulgarin, C.; Rtimi, S. Duality in the Mechanism of Hexagonal ZnO/CuxO Nanowires Inducing Sulfamethazine Degradation under Solar or Visible Light. Catalysts 2019, 9, 916.

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