In order to prepare stable and efficient photocatalysts, a microwave-furnace-assisted method using ethylene glycol (EG) as a solvent has been employed to obtain metal oxides and metal sulphides nanocatalysts with partial decompositionof the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) cap (P-ZnO, P-CdO, P-ZnS and P-CdS); this associates the protective functionality of PVP with enhanced catalytic activity due to effective carriers transfer. The as-produced catalysts characterization revealed an extended growth of metal oxides compared with metal sulphides, which is attributed to the competition of EG as the source of oxygen with PVP to capsulate metal oxides during the synthesis. Infrared spectra confirmed the PVP–metal complexation and partial decomposition of the polymer. Metal sulphides exhibited a better catalytic activity compared with metal oxides for sulphamethoxazole degradation in UVC light owing to their size and morphology impact; further, P-CdS induced 71% antibiotic degradation after 10 h of illumination with visible light compared with only 48% for P-ZnS, 29% for P-ZdO and 20% for P-CdO due to improved light absorption. Interestingly, around 86% degradation was induced by mixing P-CdS with P-ZnS in 80:20% ratio, indicating an enhanced visible light activity due to improved electron–hole pair separation and high redox potential of P-ZnS.
Volume 42 | Issue 3