The effect of the type of structural defect in zinc oxide on its photocatalytic properties was studied for phenol photodegradation under UV-irradiation. It was shown that the use of different types of precursors (zinc oxalate and zinc hydroxide) for the production of zinc oxide leads to the formation of a material with the same phase composition and equal energy of the forbidden band, but different photocatalytic activities. Simultaneously, the peculiarities of the luminescence and electron spin resonance spectra indicate the formation of different types of defects in the structure of the material, namely, oxygen vacancies (V o ) in the anionic and zinc vacancies (V Zn ) in the cationic sublattices of zinc oxide synthesised from the zinc oxalate and hydroxide, respectively. Also, the different characteristics of the luminescence decays reveal the different recombination paths for the free charge carriers in the systems synthesised from the different precursors. The different times of the luminescence decay also confirmed the different methods of recombination of free charge carriers in systems synthesised from different precursors. It was shown that the appearance of defects in the cationic sublattice leads to a decrease in the photocatalytic activity of the material relative to phenol degradation.
- Photocatalytic activity
- Structure defects