This work investigates the degradation of the azo dye solochrome dark blue (SDB) by measurement of the photocatalytic, sonocatalytic and sonophotocatalytic activities, under low ultrasonic frequency (40 kHz) and UV-C (254 nm) light, using Mn-doped ZnS semiconductor quantum dots (Mn2+:ZnS Qds) as catalysts, prepared by a simple chemical precipitation procedure. In order to study the different morphological and optical crystal properties, various characterization techniques were used, such as high resolution transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption-desorption at −196 °C and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. The average particle size of the semiconductor Qds was in the range of 3–4 nm. The optimal parameters affecting dye degradation, such as the catalyst loading, solution pH, time of irradiation, initial concentration of dye, dopant concentration, ultrasonic power and frequency effect were evaluated. The synthesized catalytic material exhibited a high activity for sonophotocatalytic degradation of SDB (89%), larger than that observed for sonocatalysis (69.7%) or photocatalysis (55.2%) alone, which was due to the improved electron-holes separation, formation of more reactive radicals and enhancement of the active surface area. Qds showed good stability and reusability after five repeated cycles. Finally, the degradation products were identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
- Optical properties
- Quantum dots