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Surface crystal feature-dependent photoactivity of ZnO–ZnS composite rods via hydrothermal sulfidation

Liang, Yuan-Chang, Wang, Chein-Chung
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.9 pp. 5063-5070
microstructure, optical properties, photocatalysis, photolysis, zinc, zinc oxide, zinc sulfide
ZnO–ZnS core–shell composite rods were synthesized using a two-step facile hydrothermal methodology wherein different sulfidation durations were employed. The effects of sulfidation duration on the morphology and crystalline quality of ZnS shell layers on the surfaces of ZnO rods were investigated. A ZnS shell layer with visible granular features was obtained in the adequately controlled 3 h sulfidation process. A structural analysis demonstrated that the ZnS shell layers of ZnO–ZnS composite rods synthesized after 3 h sulfidation were in a well-defined crystalline cubic zinc blend phase. Moreover, optical properties revealed that these composite rods had a higher light-harvesting ability than those obtained after 1 and 2 h sulfidation. The density of surface crystal defects and the photoexcited charge separation efficiency of the composite rods were associated with changes in the microstructure of the synthesized ZnS shell layers. The optimal sulfidation duration of 3 h for the ZnO–ZnS composite rods resulted in the highest photocatalytic activity for the given photodegradation test conditions. The improved light harvesting and charge transport at the ZnO–ZnS heterointerface accounted for the enhanced photocatalytic activity of the ZnO–ZnS composite rods synthesized after 3 h sulfidation.