Copper/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite for high performance photocatalytic methylene blue dye degradation

  • Belete Asefa Aragaw Atsedemariam Dagnaw1
  • Atsedemariam Dagnaw
Keywords: Cu nanoparticle, Nanocomposites, Reduced graphene oxide, Organic dye degra-dation, Photocatalysts

Abstract

Copper nanoparticles deposited on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) have been investigated for various applications. In many of these reports RGO is used as a support and electron collector and not as a light absorber. However, Cu nanoparticle decorated over the surface of semiconducting RGO as a light absorber has not been investigated for its photocatalytic organic dye degradation activity. Here, we deposited Cu nanoparticle on RGO sheet by insitu photoreduction method. The Cu/RGO nanocomposite photocatalyst material is characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy, FT-IR and X-ray powder diffraction and its photodegradation activity towards model organic dye was investigated. Based on our results, it was found that the photocatalytic degradation efficiency of GO, RGO and Cu/RGO nanocomposites were 63%, 68% and 94%,  respectively under light irradiation at pH~7 in 50 min. The high photocatalytic performance of Cu/RGO nanocomposite is due to the catalytic effect of Cu. The Cu nanoparticle is a good photoelectron acceptor that traps the photoelectron and reduces the recombination rate of photoelectron-hole pairs. We believe that our finding would be widely applicable to the graphene oxide based composites with metal or metal oxide nanoparticles to develop a cost effective technique for environmental protection.

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