Preparation of N-doped ZnO-loaded halloysite nanotubes catalysts with high solar-light photocatalytic activity

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

N-doped ZnO nanoparticles were successfully assembled into hollow halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) by using the impregnation method. The catalysts based on N-doped ZnO-loaded HNTs nanocomposites (N-doped ZnO/HNTs) were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray (TEM-EDX), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX), UV-vis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) techniques. The XRD pattern showed ZnO nanoparticles with hexagonal structure loaded on HNTs. The TEM-EDX analysis indicated ZnO particles with the crystal size of ca.10 nm scattered in hollow structure of HNTs, and furthermore the concentration of N atom in nanocomposites was up to 2.31%. The SEM-EDX verified most of N-ZnO nanoparticles existing in hollow nanotubes of HNTs. Besides containing an obvious ultraviolet absorbance band, the UV-vis spectra of the N-doped ZnO/HNTs catalysts showed an available visible absorbance band by comparing to HNTs and non-doped ZnO/HNTs. The photocatalytic activity of the N-doped ZnO/HNTs catalysts was evaluated by the degradation of methyl orange (MO) solution with the concentration of 20 mg/L under the simulated solar-light irradiation. The result showed that the N-doped ZnO/HNTs catalyst exhibited a desirable solar-light photocatalytic activity.

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