This work reports the synthesis of novel praseodymium (Pr)-doped ZnO nanocrystals with excellent photocatalyticactivity through modified solid-state reaction route. The impacts of doping on the wurtzite hexagonal structureare analysed with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy. The production of defect levels and the formation ofUrbach energy within the system are confirmed using photoluminescence (PL) techniques and UV/Vis diffuse reflectancespectroscopy, respectively. The linear relationship between Urbach energy and band gap energy is elucidated from UV/Visspectroscopy analysis. The changes happened to morphology by doping were tackled using scanning electron microscopy(SEM). The concentration quenching effect of PL emission with Pr doping is explained in detail. A three-fold enhancementin the photocatalytic activity was achieved with optimum Pr incorporation in ZnO. This work successfully correlated PLquenching and enhanced photocatalytic activity with the defect production happened in ZnO system on Pr doping. Thepractical applicability of the photocatalyst was confirmed with a stability test.
Volume 43, 2020
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