American Chemical Society
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Boosting Tetracycline Degradation with an S‑Scheme Heterojunction of N‑Doped Carbon Quantum Dots-Decorated TiO2

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-12, 15:08 authored by Melike Karaca, Zafer Eroğlu, Özkan Açışlı, Önder Metin, Semra Karaca
N-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) derived from the Rumex crispus L. plant were incorporated into TiO2 via a facile hydrothermal method. As-prepared materials were characterized and used in the photocatalytic tetracycline (TC) degradation under UVA light irradiation by examining several operational parameters involving the N-CQDs amount, initial TC concentration, pH, and photocatalytic reaction time. XRD analysis revealed the conversion of the rutile phase to the anatase phase after the incorporation of N-CQDs into the TiO2 structure. The results revealed that the N-CQDs/TiO2 photocatalysts demonstrated the highest efficiency in TC degradation compared to other processes of adsorption, photolysis (UVA), and photocatalysis with TiO2 (TiO2/UVA). Under optimized conditions, 10 mg/L TC at pH 5.15 with 0.2 g/L N-CQDs/TiO2 catalyst showed 97.7% photocatalytic degradation for 120 min under UVA irradiation. The formation of an S-scheme heterojunction between N-CQDs and TiO2 provided enhanced charge separation and strong redox capability, causing significant improvement in the photocatalytic performance of N-CQDs/TiO2. Trapping experiments showed that O2•– and h+ are the predominant reactive species for the TC elimination in an aqueous solution.