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Quinary wurtzite Zn-Ga-Ge-N-O solid solutions and their photocatalytic properties under visible light irradiation.

ABSTRACT: Wurtzite solid solutions between GaN and ZnO highlight an intriguing paradigm for water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. However, large composition discrepancy often occurs inside the compound owing to the volatile nature of Zn, thereby prescribing rigorous terms on synthetic conditions. Here we demonstrate the merits of constituting quinary Zn-Ga-Ge-N-O solid solutions by introducing Ge into the wurtzite framework. The presence of Ge not only mitigates the vaporization of Zn but also strongly promotes particle crystallization. Synthetic details for these quinary compounds were systematically explored and their photocatalytic properties were thoroughly investigated. Proper starting molar ratios of Zn/Ga/Ge are of primary importance for single phase formation, high particle crystallinity and good photocatalytic performance. Efficient photocatalytic hydrogen and oxygen production from water were achieved for these quinary solid solutions which is strongly correlated with Ge content in the structure. Apparent quantum efficiency for optimized sample approaches 1.01% for hydrogen production and 1.14% for oxygen production. Theoretical calculation reveals the critical role of Zn for the band gap reduction in these solid solutions and their superior photocatalytic acitivity can be understood by the preservation of Zn in the structure as well as a good crystallinity after introducing Ge.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC4709556 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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