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Synthesis of (Ga1–xZnx)(N1–xOx) with Enhanced Visible-Light Absorption and Reduced Defects by Suppressing Zn Volatilization

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journal contribution
posted on 10.02.2016, 16:17 authored by Dennis P. Chen, Sara E. Skrabalak
(Ga1–xZnx)­(N1–xOx) (GZNO) particles with enhanced optical absorption were synthesized by topotactic transformation of Zn2+/Ga3+ layered double hydroxides. This outcome was achieved by suppressing Zn volatilization during nitridation by maintaining a low partial pressure of O2 (pO2). Zn-rich (x > 1/3) variants of GZNO were achieved and compared to those prepared by conventional ammonoylsis conditions. The optical absorption and structural properties of these samples were compared to those prepared in the absence of O2 by diffuse-reflectance spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction methods. Notably, suppression of Zn volatilization leads to smaller-band-gap materials (2.30 eV for x = 0.42 versus 2.71 eV for x = 0.21) and reduced structural defects. This synthetic route and set of characterizations provide useful structure–property studies of GZNO and potentially other oxynitrides of interest as photocatalysts.