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ABSTRACT. In this work, synthesized carbon quantum dots (CQDs) and zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are used to form ZnO/CQDs nanocomposite. The characterization of this nanocomposite using X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicates that ZnO NPs and ZnO/CQDs nanocomposite have the same profile, suggesting that the presence of CQDs does not impinge the crystal structure of ZnO in ZnO/CQDs nanocomposite. Besides, an analysis performed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) displays plate-like nanostructure with an average thickness of about 22 nm and 25 nm for ZnO NPs and ZnO/CQDs, respectively. Furthermore, the reflectance study in the visible range shows a reduction of sunlight reflection intensity of ZnO/CQDs compared with the reflection intensity of ZnO NPs. In addition, the photocatalytic studies indicate that the rate of photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) of ZnO/CQDs nanocomposites is higher than that of ZnO NPs. Indeed, in optimized conditions, the photocatalytic activity can reach 100% within 45 min of sunlight exposure for the degradation of 7.5 mg/L MB using ZnO/CQDs while it takes 90 min using ZnO NPs under the same conditions. These fascinating results is attributed to the reduction of the reflective properties of ZnO/CQDs.
KEY WORDS: Fluorescent carbon quantum dots (CQDs), Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue, Sunlight reflectance property, Synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2023, 37(2), 463-476.