Microwave assisted citrate gel combustion synthesis of ZnO Part-II: Assessment of functional properties

S. Ananthakumar, S. Anas, J. Ambily, R. V. Mangalaraja

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In this study, the functional properties of nanocrystalline ZnO derived through a microwave assisted citrate gel decomposition technique were examined by UV-Vis and PL spectroscopy. The prepared ZnO and ZnO containing Al3+, Ag+ and a mixture of (Al3++ Ag+) dopants were subjected to photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye under UV irradiation and photoluminescence analysis. The band gap reduction and photo-oxidation reaction kinetics were assessed. The functional property studies revealed that ZnO nano clusters showed a UV absorption edge at 393 nm with band gap energy of 3.159 eV. A significant band gap reduction is found in mixed ions doping [Al3++Ag+] compared to single Ag+ and Al3+ dopants. The photo-oxidation reaction follows pseudo- first-order reaction kinetics and a kobs constant of 0.273 was determined with mixed dopants. An enhanced photoactivity was confirmed by the ultrasonication of a ZnO-dye suspension. The PL measurements showed blue and red emission in Ag+ and Al3+ doped ZnO, respectively. The mixed ions [Al3+ + Ag+] resulted in a pronounced intense orange-red emission in the visible region. In addition to this, the photoactivity of microwave-derived ZnO clusters was confirmed in a kaolin clay matrix. The kaolin modified with 2 wt% ZnO was found to be photoactive and it degraded the methylene blue dye within 3 h under UV irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ceramic Processing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Functional ZnO
  • Photocatalysis
  • Photoluminescence


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