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Visible Light-Driven Photocatalytic Activity of Magnetic Recoverable Ternary ZnFe2O4/rGO/g-C3N4 Nanocomposites

Martin Tsvetkov, Elzhana Encheva, Albin Pintar, Maria Milanova


ZnFe2O4/rGO/g-C3N4 ternary nanocomposite photocatalysts with different ZnFe2O4/g-C3N4 weight ratio (0.5, 0.75, 1) were prepared by a stepwise solvothermal method using ethylene glycol as the solvent. Physicochemical methods such as X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy were applied in order to characterize the composites. The formation of a meso-/macroporous structure with specific surface area between 67 and 77 m2 g‒1 was confirmed by N2 adsorption/desorption. The bandgap of the composites was found to be lower (2.30 eV) than that of g-C3N4 (2.7 eV). In contrast to pure g-C3N4, the composites showed no fluorescence, i.e. no recombination of e/h+ took place. All samples, including pure g-C3N4 and ZnFe2O4, were tested for adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of aqueous malachite green model solutions (10‒5 M) under visible light irradiation (λ >400 nm). The results show that the prepared nanocomposites have higher absorption and photocatalytic activity than the pristine g-C3N4 and ZnFe2O4 and can be successfully used for water purification from organic azo-dyes.


Graphitic carbon nitride; reduced graphene oxide; zinc ferrite; photocatalysis; malachite green decomposition.

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