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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9020215

In-Situ Fabrication of g-C3N4/ZnO Nanocomposites for Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue: Synthesis Procedure Does Matter

1
College of Biological, Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Jiaxing University, 118 Jiahang Road, Jiaxing 314001, China
2
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA
3
State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1295 Ding-Xi Road, Shanghai 200050, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract

The nanocomposite preparation procedure plays an important role in achieving a well-established heterostructured junction, and hence, an optimized photocatalytic activity. In this study, a series of g-C3N4/ZnO nanocomposites were prepared through two distinct procedures of a low-cost, environmentally-friendly, in-situ fabrication process, with urea and zinc acetate being the only precursor materials. The physicochemical properties of synthesized g-C3N4/ZnO composites were mainly characterized by XRD, UV–VIS diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), N2 adsorption-desorption, FTIR, TEM, and SEM. These nanocomposites’ photocatalytic properties were evaluated in methylene blue (MB) dye photodecomposition under UV and sunlight irradiation. Interestingly, compared with ZnO nanorods, g-C3N4/ZnO nanocomposites (x:1, obtained from urea and ZnO nanorods) exhibited weak photocatalytic activity likely due to a “shading effect”, while nanocomposites (x:1 CN, made from g-C3N4 and zinc acetate) showed enhanced photocatalytic activity that can be ascribed to the effective establishment of heterojunctions. A kinetics study showed that a maximum reaction rate constant of 0.1862 min-1 can be achieved under solar light illumination, which is two times higher than that of bare ZnO nanorods. The photocatalytic mechanism was revealed by determining reactive species through adding a series of scavengers. It suggested that reactive ●O2 and h+ radicals played a major role in promoting dye photodegradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO nanorods; dye photodegradation; graphitic carbon nitride; nanocomposites; in situ synthesis ZnO nanorods; dye photodegradation; graphitic carbon nitride; nanocomposites; in situ synthesis
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Zhang, S.; Su, C.; Ren, H.; Li, M.; Zhu, L.; Ge, S.; Wang, M.; Zhang, Z.; Li, L.; Cao, X. In-Situ Fabrication of g-C3N4/ZnO Nanocomposites for Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue: Synthesis Procedure Does Matter. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 215.

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