Defect-rich ZnO nanosheets of high surface area as an efficient visible-light photocatalyst

Jing Wang, Yi Xia, Yan Dong, Ruosong Chen, Lan Xiang, Sridhar Komarneni

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230 Scopus citations


A facile ultra-rapid solution method was developed to fabricate ZnO nanosheets with tunable BET surface area and rich oxygen-vacancy defects. The addition of 1 mol L-1 Na2SO4 led to an increase of BET surface area of ZnO nanosheets from 6.7 to 34.5 m2/g, through an electrostatic-controlled growth and self-assembly mechanism. Detailed analysis based on Raman scattering, room-temperature photoluminescence, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron spin resonance revealed that the as-prepared ZnO nanosheets were rich in oxygen-vacancies. Increased BET surface area led to a further increase of surface oxygen-vacancy concentration. The rich oxygen-vacancies promoted the visible-light absorption of the ZnO nanosheets, leading to high photocurrent responses and photocatalytic activities towards the degradation of rhodamine B (apparent rate constants, k = 0.0179 min-1) under visible-light illumination (λ > 420 nm), about 13 and 11 times higher, respectively than that of ZnO nanoparticles with few oxygen defects. In addition, the high-surface-area ZnO nanosheets could be effectively hybridized with Ag3PO4 nanoparticles, resulting in a further enhancement of the visible-light photocatalytic performance (k = 0.0421 min-1). This increase in performance was attributed to the increased visible-light absorption as well as the energy level matching, the latter leading to efficient charge transfer between oxygen-vacancy-rich ZnO nanosheet and Ag3PO4, suggesting a synergistic effect of surface oxygen vacancies and Ag3PO4 coupling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Sep 5 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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