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Nanoscale. 2012 Oct 21;4(20):6604-12.

Synthesis, characterization and photocatalytic activity of magnetically separable hexagonal Ni/ZnO nanostructure.

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Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur-721302, India.


The hexagonal zinc oxide coated nickel (Ni/ZnO) nanostructure photocatalyst has successfully been prepared by the reduction of nickel chloride hexahydrate using hydrazine hydrate through the solvothermal process at 140 °C followed by surface modification of the product by the reflux method at 110 °C for 1 h. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern showed that the 'as prepared' sample consists of face centered cubic Ni and hexagonal wurtzite ZnO without any traces of impurity. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images confirmed the formation of nickel nanoparticles under solvothermal conditions. These nickel nanoparticles, when subjected to reflux, formed the hexagonal zinc oxide coated nickel nanostructure. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra, photoluminescence (PL) and Raman studies also confirmed the presence of zinc oxide in the hybrid nanostructure. The growth mechanism for the development of the hexagonal zinc oxide coated nickel (Ni/ZnO) nanostructure has also been proposed. The appearance of the hysteresis loop, in the as-prepared Ni/ZnO hybrid nanostructure, demonstrated its ferromagnetic character at room temperature. The hexagonal Ni/ZnO nanostructure also acts as an efficient photocatalyst in the degradation of methylene blue under ultraviolet light irradiation. It is observed that the catalytic efficiency of the hybrid nanocatalyst is better compared to pure zinc oxide. Most importantly, the Ni/ZnO catalyst could also be easily separated, simply by applying an external magnetic field, and reused.

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