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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2015, Article ID 747024, 9 pages
Research Article

Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity of BiOBr/ZnO Heterojunction Semiconductors Prepared by Facile Hydrothermal Method

1Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
2College of Chemical Engineering, Qingdao University of Science & Technology, 53 Zhengzhou Road, Qingdao 266042, China

Received 25 January 2015; Revised 28 April 2015; Accepted 29 April 2015

Academic Editor: Vincenzo Augugliaro

Copyright © 2015 Xiangchao Meng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hexagonal wurtzite pure ZnO and BiOBr-ZnO composites were synthesized by facile hydrothermal method. The amount of BiOBr as dopant was adjusted from 5 wt.% to 75 wt.%, and correspondingly the morphologies and crystal structures of the as-prepared composites were measured and discussed. Specifically, according to XRD patterns and SEM images, the main crystalline structure of ZnO was not destroyed after doping, but growth of ZnO crystals was inhibited by doping BiOBr. Meanwhile, the optical properties of the composites were measured by the diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS). The band gap of composites was also calculated using the classical Tauc equation and it was found to be around 3.0 eV. In the test of photocatalytic activation, the ZnO-BiOBr photocatalysts exhibited high photocatalytic efficiencies in the degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) under visible-light irradiation. It was ascribed to not only the small size of crystalline, but also the reduction in the recombination rate of the photogenerated carriers for the enhancement effect of p-n heterojunction. This work sheds light on improving the photocatalytic performance by establishing the heterojunction and contributes to the development of a commercially competitive photocatalyst.