Effects of a surfactant on the morphology and photocatalytic properties of polycrystalline Fe-doped ZnO powders

Effects of a surfactant on the morphology and photocatalytic properties of polycrystalline Fe-doped ZnO powders

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, Volume 121, p.319-328 (2018)

ISBN:

0022-3697

Abstract:

<p>In this study, we compared the structural, morphological, and optical properties of a series of Zn1-xFexO (x = 0.00, 0.01, and 0.03) powders synthesized via a hydrothermal route with and without cetyltrimethylammonium bromide as a cationic surfactant. Our results highlighted the critical effects of the surfactant and the iron concentration on the structure, morphology, and optical properties of ZnO. X-ray diffraction, Mossbauer spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses indicated the presence of a single phase comprising ZnO with a hexagonal wurtzite structure in all samples and a single oxidation state (+3) for the iron (Fe3+) that replaced Zn2+ in the ZnO structure. Morphological investigations by scanning electron microscopy showed that the surfactant and Fe3+ dopant greatly affected the shape of the ZnO grains, which varied between sheets and rod-like flowers. We found that the morphological and photocatalytic properties of the two series of samples comprising iron-doped ZnO with and without the surfactant were in opposition. We propose a possible growth mechanism for the ZnO polycrystalline grains in the presence of the Fe dopant and/or surfactant. The photocatalytic properties increased for the samples prepared with surfactant as the iron content increased, which was confirmed by ultraviolet-visible reflection measurements. The photocatalytic activities of the samples prepared without surfactant decreased in both the ultraviolet and visible spectral regions as the iron content increased in the samples.</p>