Fabrication of Zinc incorporated Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylene Blue

Document Type : Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Chemistry, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, NIGERIA.

2 Materials and Electrochemical Research Unit (MERU), Department of Chemistry, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, NIGERIA

3 Department of Basic Sciences, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, NIGERIA

4 Department of Chemistry, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, NIGERIA

5 Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Bayero University Kano, Kano State, NIGERIA

6 Institute of Chemistry, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur, PAKISTAN

7 Key Laboratory of Luminescence Analysis and Molecular Sensing, Ministry of Education, School of Materials and Energy, Southwest University, Chongqing, P.R. CHINA

Abstract

The fabrication of sustainable and efficient metal oxide-based semiconductor materials for effective degradation of environmental pollutants and other applications are currently attracting major interest from researchers. For this reason, magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) and zinc incorporated magnetic iron oxide (Zn@Fe3O4) nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by a co-precipitation method and tested for their physical properties and also as a photocatalysts for the degradation of toxic dye from the environment. The photocatalyst were analyzed by the use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Ultra-Violet Visible spectrophotometer to evaluate their morphology, crystallinity and band gap properties, respectively. The photocatalytic degradation performance of synthesized Fe3O4 and Zn@Fe3O4 was studied for their degradation efficiency on methylene blue (MB) dye. The photocatalytic activity of Fe3O4 was affected by doping with Zn ion. The highest methylene blue degradation (83.80 % and 70.50 %) for Fe3O4 and Zn@Fe3O4 were obtained at 0.5 g dose. The XRD and SEM results approved the existence of Fe3O4 and Zn@Fe3O4, and also highlighted the successful entrance of zinc ion onto Fe3O4. The introduction of zinc dopant into Fe3O4 lattices increases the band gap from 2.77 eV to 2.80 eV. The study of electronic structure of methylene blue was examined through quantum chemical calculations using density functional theory method (DFT) in order to give an insight on the nature of MB interaction with synthesized photocatalyst. The DFT results revealed that the nitrogen atom of the MB molecule is the favorite sites of interaction with the metal oxide surface. Furthermore, the experimental findings showed that magnetic iron oxide demonstrated a good photocatalyst in degradation of methylene blue as compared to the zinc doped magnetic iron oxide particle.

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