In-situ controlled growth of ultrafine CeO2 nanoparticles on reduced graphene oxides for efficient photocatalytic degradation

Bo Sun, Wenge Chen*, Wei Zheng, Hui Zhang, Terence Xiaoteng Liu, Ahmed Elmarakbi, Yong Qing Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Nanostructured composites of metal oxides and graphene often exhibit synergistic physicochemical properties, which can be explored for applications in photocatalysis and water treatment. However, there are key issues about effective structure controls such as distributions and sizes of nanoparticles inside these composite materials. Herein, we report a green approach using hydrothermal calcination processes to in-situ grow CeO2 nanoparticles (with their ultrafine crystalline sizes, homogeneous dispersion and controlled oxygen-vacancy) directly onto surfaces of reduced graphene oxides (rGOs). The growth process of CeO2 NPs was characterized by in-situ TEM analysis. During the calcination process, oxygen-containing functional groups such as –OH and C[dbnd]O on the rGOs were transformed into H2O and CO2, which acted as oxidizing agents to react with cerium ions and produce CeO2 nanoparticles directly onto surfaces of rGOs. Integration of ultrafine crystalline oxygen deficient CeO2 and electrically conducting rGOs facilitated fast adsorption of reactant molecules and provided numerous active sites, which effectively achieved superior photocatalytic performance and enhanced adsorption capability for colored organic dyes of rhodamine B and methyl orange. Degradation rate of rhodamine B using the composite reached 94.7% within 120 min, and after five cycles, the degradation rate was still maintained at 87.2%, showing good stability and reusability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-120
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Catalysis
Early online date18 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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