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Effect of solvents on ZnO nanostructures synthesized by solvothermal method assisted by microwave radiation: a photocatalytic study

Pimentel, A., Rodrigues, J., Duarte, P., Nunes, D., Costa, F. M., Monteiro, T., Martins, R., Fortunato, E.
Journal of materials science 2015 v.50 no.17 pp. 5777-5787
Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, absorption, ambient temperature, ethylene glycol, methylene blue, microwave radiation, microwave treatment, nanoparticles, photocatalysts, photoluminescence, pollutants, scanning electron microscopy, solvents, zinc oxide
The present work reports the synthesis of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles with hexagonal wurtzite structure considering a solvothermal method assisted by microwave radiation and using different solvents: water (H₂O), 2-ethoxyethanol (ET) and ethylene glycol (EG). The structural characterization of the produced ZnO nanoparticles has been accessed by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, room-temperature photoluminescence and Raman spectroscopies. Different morphologies have been obtained with the solvents tested. Both H₂O and ET resulted in rods with high aspect ratio, while EG leads to flower-like structure. The UV absorption spectra showed peaks with an orange shift for synthesis with H₂O and ET and blue shift for synthesis with EG. The different synthesized nanostructures were tested for photocatalyst applications, revealing that the ZnO nanoparticles produced with ET degrade faster the molecule used as model dye pollutant, i.e. methylene blue.