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J Hazard Mater. 2009 Oct 30;170(2-3):560-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.05.064. Epub 2009 May 21.

Strategies of making TiO2 and ZnO visible light active.

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  • 1Nanotechnology Research Group, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Sector H-12, Islamabad, Punjab 44000, Pakistan.


In modern purification techniques employing semiconductor mediated photooxidation of toxic substances, zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) are the most widely used metal oxides due to their unique blend of properties. However, the band edges of these semiconductors lie in the UV region which makes them inactive under visible light irradiation. Researchers have been interested in the modification of electronic and optical properties of these metal oxides for their efficient use in water and air purification under visible light irradiation. Visible light activity has been induced in TiO2 and ZnO by surface modification via organic materials/semiconductor coupling and band gap modification by doping with metals and nonmetals, co-doping with nonmetals, creation of oxygen vacancies and oxygen sub-stoichiometry. This paper encompasses the progress and developments made so far through these techniques in the visible light photocatalysis with TiO2 and ZnO. Recently, nitrogen doping in titania has been extensively carried out and therefore somewhat detailed discussion in this respect has been presented. Visible light activation of titania clusters encapsulated in zeolite-Y by nitrogen doping and incorporation of dye or organic sensitizers inside the zeolite framework, has also been highlighted in this review.

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