Zinc oxide (ZnO) powders have been prepared by solution combustion synthesis method using conventional and microwave ignition routes. The effects of starting solution acidity on the combustion behavior, phase evolution, microstructure, optical properties and photocatalytic performance were investigated by thermal analysis, X-ray diffractometry, electron microscopy and diffuse reflectance spectrometry techniques. The chelated species in dried gels were predicted by theoretical calculations and confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The combustion reaction rate increased with the increase of pH values. Single phase and well-crystalline ZnO powders were achieved by both of ignition methods regardless of pH values. The hexagonal particles (200–80 nm) formed by microwave ignition were larger than the spherical particles (60–40 nm) in conventional heating. Conventionally combusted ZnO powders exhibited higher photocatalytic activity under ultraviolet irradiation, due to their narrower band gap and smaller particle size.
Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 21, 2018
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