Synthesis Europium (Eu3+) Doped Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles via the Co-Precipitation Method for Photocatalytic Applications

Gemechu Barsisa, Abebe Belay, Gashaw Beyene, Cherente Seboka, Kusse Gudishe



Rare earth elements doped with zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) have gathered a remarkable interest for their potential credence due to their high luminescent intensities. In this research, europium ion (Eu3+) doped and undoped zinc oxide nanoparticles (Eu1-xZnxO) (x=0.03, 0.06, 0.09) were synthesized via co-precipitation method. The effects of varying the concentration of the europium ion (Eu3+) on the structure and optical properties were  investigated. The structural and optical properties of europium ion (Eu3+) doped and un-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were characterized by XRD, UV-Vis, Photoluminescence, and FT-IR Spectroscopy. The XRD results reveal the Europium ion (Eu3+) was successfully incorporated into the zinc oxide host matrix and made highly crystalline. All the synthesized samples have a hexagonal wurtzite structure. UV-Vis absorption spectra measurements revealed increasing the dopant concentration increases the energy band compared to the undoped zinc oxide nanoparticles. Photoluminescence spectra confirmed doping europium ion (Eu3+) predominantly enhances the visible emission with various series characteristics of blue and green emission compared to undoped zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) which exhibits the near band emission.  Fourier Transform Infra Red (FTIR) spectral analysis indicated the presence of functional groups attached to Europium ion (Eu3+) doped and undoped zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs). In addition, the presence of an additional spectrum band with increasing the concentration of dopant amount demonstrates that europium ions (Eu3+) were successfully substituted into the zinc oxide host matrix. The photocatalytic activity response is investigated using organic methylene blue (MB) as a pollutant model and dopant played the role in enhancing the photocatalytic kinetics because Eu3+ ions act as an electron acceptor to promote charge separation and photocatalytic activity. The photocatalytic activity of europium ion (Eu3+) doped zinc oxide nanoparticles has higher performance than undoped zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) since the dopant has the potential candidate in minimizing the recombination probability which in turn improves the performance of photocatalytic activities which makes it suitable for the local environment.

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Nano Biomedicine and Engineering.

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