Effect of Morphology on the Photocatalytic Behavior of ZnO Nanostructures: Low Temperature Sonochemical Synthesis of Ni Doped ZnO Nanoparticles

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 Faculty of Science, Payame Noor University, Qom, Iran

3 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran



In the present study, ZnO nanostructure has been synthesized by different methods, namely coprecipitation, hydrothermal and sonochemical methods. After comparison of the morphology and photocatalytic activity of ZnO samples prepared via different methods, the best method (sonochemical method) was used for synthesis of Ni-ZnO nanoparticles with different concentrations of nickel. Furthermore, structural and optical properties were investigated by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, UV–Vis spectroscopy, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, and Photoluminescence spectroscopy methods. Morphology of nanoparticles prepared via sonochemical method were obtained small granular shape. In addition, the direct band gap has been calculated by Tauc's approach. Compared with pure ZnO, the band gap of the Ni-ZnO NPs is smaller and depends on the content of dopants. Moreover, photocatalytic activity of all samples has been investigated under UV irradiation in an aqueous medium. In addition, photocatalytic activity is improved in the presence of an appropriate amount of nickel dopant. 


1. Versteegh MAM, Vanmaekelbergh D, Dijkhuis JI. Room-Temperature Laser Emission of ZnO Nanowires Explained by Many-Body Theory. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2012; 108(15): 157402.
2. Riaz M, Song J, Nur O, Wang ZL, Willander M. Study of the Piezoelectric Power Generation of ZnO Nanowire Arrays Grown by Different Methods. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2011; 21(4): 628-633.
3. Khataee A, Saadi S, Safarpour M, Joo SW. Sonocatalytic performance of Er-doped ZnO for degradation of a textile dye. Ultrason. Sonochem. 2015; 27: 379-388.
4. Vanalakar SA, Mali SS, Pawar RC, Dalavi DS, Mohalkar AV, Deshamukh HP, et al. Farming of ZnO nanorod-arrays via aqueous chemical route for photoelectrochemical solar cell application. Ceram. Int. 2012; 38(8): 6461-6467.
5. Liang S, Zhu L, Gai G, Yao Y, Huang J, Ji X, et al. Synthesis of morphology-controlled ZnO microstructures via a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method and their gas-sensing property. Ultrason. Sonochem. 2014; 21(4): 1335-1342.
6. Sharifalhoseini Z, Entezari MH, Jalal R. Direct and indirect sonication affect differently the microstructure and the morphology of ZnO nanoparticles: Optical behavior and its antibacterial activity. Ultrason. Sonochem. 2015; 27: 466-473.
7. Zhou K, Zhang Q, Shi Y, Jiang S, Hu Y, Gui Z. A facile method for preparation ZnO with different morphology and their optical property. J. Alloys Compd. 2013; 577: 389-394.
8. de Andrade Gomes M, Giroldo Valerio ME, Queiruga Rey JF, Macedo ZS. Comparative study of structural and optical properties of ZnO nanostructures prepared by three different aqueous solution methods. Mater. Chem. Phys. 2013; 142(1): 325-332.
9. Zhong Jb, Xu B, Feng FM, He Xy, Li Jz, Hu W. Fabrication and photocatalytic activity of ZnO prepared by different precipitants using paralled flaw precipitation method. Mater. Lett. 2011; 65(12): 1995-1997.
10. Singh S, Chakrabarti P. Comparison of the structural and optical properties of ZnO thin films deposited by three different methods for optoelectronic applications. Superlattices Microst. 2013; 64(0): 283-293.
11. Karunakaran C, Dhanalakshmi R. Phenol degradation on Pr6O11 surface under UV-A light. Synergistic photocatalysis by semiconductors. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 2009; 78(1): 8-12.
12. Evgenidou E, Konstantinou I, Fytianos K, Poulios I, Albanis T. Photocatalytic oxidation of methyl parathion over TiO2 and ZnO suspensions. Catal. Today 2007; 124(3–4): 156-162.
13. Xie J, Wang H, Duan M, Zhang L. Synthesis and photocatalysis properties of ZnO structures with different morphologies via hydrothermal method. Appl. Surf. Sci. 2011; 257(15): 6358-6363.
14. Kong X, Sun X, Li X, Li Y. Catalytic growth of ZnO nanotubes. Mater. Chem. Phys. 2003; 82(3): 997-1001.
15. Tominaga K, Takao T, Fukushima A, Moriga T, Nakabayashi I. Amorphous ZnO–In2O3 transparent conductive films by simultaneous sputtering method of ZnO and In2O3 targets. Vacuum 2002; 66(3–4): 505-509.
16. Naghavi N, Marcel C, Dupont L, Rougier A, Leriche J-B, Guery C. Structural and physical characterisation of transparent conducting pulsed laser deposited InO-ZnO thin films. J. Mater. Chem. 2000; 10(10): 2315-2319.
17. Zhai H-J, Wu W-H, Lu F, Wang H-S, Wang C. Effects of ammonia and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) on morphologies of ZnO nano- and micromaterials under solvothermal process. Mater. Chem. Phys. 2008; 112(3): 1024-1028.
18. Bordbar M, Vasegh SM, Jafari S, Yeganeh-Faal A. Optical and photocatalytic properties undoped and Mn-doped ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by hydrothermal method: Effect of annealing temperature. Iranian Journal Of Catalysis 2015; 5(2): 135-141.
19. Bordbar M, Khodadadi B, Mollatayefe N, Yeganeh-Faal A. Journal of Applied Chemistry Influence of metal (Ag, Cd, Cu)-doping on the optical properties of ZnO nanopowder: Variation of band gap. J. Appl. Chem. 2013; 8(27): 43-48.
20. Khodadadi B, Bordbar M. Sonochemical synthesis of undoped and Co-doped ZnO nanostructures and investigation of optical and photocatalytic properties. Iran. J. Catal. 2016; 6(1): 37-42.
21. Khodadadi B, Bordbar M, sajedi M. Preparation, Characterization and Photocatalytic Activity of Ag-Cd-ZnO and Ag-Cu-ZnO Nanostructures. Journal of Applied Chemical Research 2014; 8(4): 35-44.
22. Khodadadi B, Bordbar M, Yeganeh-Faal A. Optical, structural, and photocatalytic properties of Cd-doped ZnO powders prepared via sol–gel method. J. Sol-Gel Sci. Technol. 2015; 77: 521-527.
23. Kumar RV, Diamant Y, Gedanken A. Sonochemical Synthesis and Characterization of Nanometer-Size Transition Metal Oxides from Metal Acetates. Chem. Mater. 2000; 12(8): 2301-2305.
24. Rezapour M, Talebian N. Comparison of structural, optical properties and photocatalytic activity of ZnO with different morphologies: Effect of synthesis methods and reaction media. Mater. Chem. Phys. 2011; 129(1–2): 249-255.
25. Zhu H-Y, Xiao L, Jiang R, Zeng G-M, Liu L. Efficient decolorization of azo dye solution by visible light-induced photocatalytic process using SnO2/ZnO heterojunction immobilized in chitosan matrix. Chem. Eng. J. 2011; 172(2–3): 746-753.
26. Aslani A, Arefi MR, Babapoor A, Amiri A, Beyki-Shuraki K. Solvothermal synthesis, characterization and optical properties of ZnO, ZnO–MgO and ZnO–NiO, mixed oxide nanoparticles. Appl. Surf. Sci. 2011; 257(11): 4885-4889.
27. Pinjari DV, Pandit AB. Room temperature synthesis of crystalline CeO2 nanopowder: Advantage of sonochemical method over conventional method. Ultrason. Sonochem. 2011; 18(5): 1118-1123.
28. Ghosh CK, Malkhandi S, Mitra MK, Chattopadhyay KK. Effect of Ni doping on the dielectric constant of ZnO and its frequency dependent exchange interaction. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 2008; 41(24): 245113-245113.
29. Zhou X, Li Y, Peng T, Xie W, Zhao X. Synthesis, characterization and its visible-light-induced photocatalytic property of carbon doped ZnO. Mater. Lett. 2009; 63(20): 1747-1749.
30. Saravanan R, Karthikeyan S, Gupta VK, Sekaran G, Narayanan V, Stephen A. Enhanced photocatalytic activity of ZnO/CuO nanocomposite for the degradation of textile dye on visible light illumination. Mater. Sci. Eng. C 2013; 33(1): 91-98.
31. Kaneva NV, Dimitrov DT, Dushkin CD. Effect of nickel doping on the photocatalytic activity of ZnO thin films under UV and visible light. Appl. Surf. Sci. 2011; 257(18): 8113-8120.
32. Zhao J, Wang L, Yan X, Yang Y, Lei Y, Zhou J, et al. Structure and photocatalytic activity of Ni-doped ZnO nanorods. Mater. Res. Bull. 2011; 46(8): 1207-1210.
33. He R, Hocking RK, Tsuzuki T. Co-doped ZnO nanopowders: Location of cobalt and reduction inphotocatalytic activity. Mater. Chem. Phys. 2012; 132(2–3): 1035-1040.
34. Bordbar M, Alimohammadi T, Khoshnevisan B, Khodadadi B, Yeganeh-Faal A. Preparation of MWCNT/TiO2–Co nanocomposite electrode by electrophoretic deposition and electrochemical study of hydrogen storage. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 2015; 40(31): 9613-9620.
35. Liu C, Liu Z, Li Y, Liu Z, Wang Y, E L, et al. Enhanced visible-light-responsive photocatalytic property of CdS and PbS sensitized ZnO nanocomposite photocatalysts. Mater. Sci. Eng. B 2012; 177(8): 570-574.
36. Li Q, Kang Z, Mao B, Wang E, Wang C, Tian C, et al. One-step polyoxometalate-assisted solvothermal synthesis of ZnO microspheres and their photoluminescence properties. Mater. Lett. 2008; 62(16): 2531-2534.
37. Long T, Takabatake K, Yin S, Sato T. Mild solvothermal synthesis and characterization of ZnO crystals with various morphologies on borosilicate glass substrate. J. Cryst. Growth 2009; 311(3): 576-579.
38. Majeed J, Jayakumar OD, Mandal BP, Salunke HG, Naik R, Tyagi AK. Facile synthesis of flower like FePt/ZnO core–shell structure and its bifunctional properties. J. Alloys Compd. 2014; 597: 95-100.
39. Suwanboon S, Amornpitoksuk P, Sukolrat A, Muensit N. Optical and photocatalytic properties of La-doped ZnO nanoparticles prepared via precipitation and mechanical milling method. Ceram. Int. 2013; 39(3): 2811-2819.