Mg and La Co-doped ZnO Nanoparticles Prepared by Sol–gel Method: Synthesis, Characterization and Photocatalytic Activity
In this study, La and Mg doped, and co-doped ZnO nanoparticles were prepared using the sol-gel method. The prepared samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and N2 physisorption techniques. The XRD results indicated that the prepared nanoparticles can be well adopted by the hexagonal wurtzite structure crystal and there are no second impurity peaks. Studies of the FESEM, EDX and TEM have shown that the samples have uniform spherical-like morphology with a homogenous distribution. The incorporation of La and Mg into the ZnO lattice had no effect on the morphology of the nanoparticles, but a reduction in the size of the grains (≈ 14 nm to ≈ 7 nm) was observed due to the insertion of these ions. The results of N2 physisorption indicated that there was an increase in BET surface area and pore volume for doped and co-doped samples. The results of DRS showed an increase in band gap energy and a blue shift at the absorption edge for doped and co-doped samples. The photocatalytic activity of the prepared catalysts was evaluated in the removal of RhB under UVA irradiation. The results showed that Mg5%-La5%/ZnO had the highest photoactivity (91.18 %) among all samples.