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Journal of Advanced Ceramics

Article Title

Electronic structure and enhanced photoelectrocatalytic performance of Ru

Keywords

Ru, first-principles calculation, electric collector, photoelectric synergistic catalysis

Abstract

Modification is one of the most important and effective methods to improve the photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) performance of ZnO. In this paper, the RuxZn1-xO/Ti electrodes were prepared by thermal decomposition method and the effect of Ru content on those electrodes’ electronic structure was analyzed through the first-principles calculation. Various tests were also performed to observe the microstructures and PEC performance. The results showed that as the Ru4+ transferred into ZnO lattice and replaced a number of Zn2+, the conduction band of ZnO moved downward and the valence band went upward. The number of photogenerated electron-hole pairs increased as the impurity levels appeared in the band gap. In addition, ZnO nanorods exhibited a smaller grain size and a rougher surface under the effect of Ru. Meanwhile, the RuO2 nanoparticles on the surface of ZnO nanorods acted as the electron-transfer channel, helping electrons transfer to the counter electrode and delaying the recombination of the electron-hole pairs. Specifically, the RuxZn1-xO/Ti electrodes with 9.375 mol% Ru exhibited the best PEC performance with a rhodamine B (RhB) removal rate of 97%, much higher than the combination of electrocatalysis (EC, 12%) and photocatalysis (PC, 50%), confirming the synergy of photoelectrocatalysis.

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