Highly efficient reduction of aqueous Cr(VI) with novel ZnO/SnS nanocomposites through the piezoelectric effect

Soo-Jin Park , Hao Sun


Received May 25, 2021,Revised , Accepted August 13, 2021, Available online January 10, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 57-66

In this work, novel ZnO/SnS nanocomposites were successfully synthesized via a hydrothermal approach, which is developed for piezoelectric catalytic reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in an aqueous solution. The constructed ZnO/SnS nanocomposites exhibited higher catalytic efficiency for Cr(VI) reduction under a mechanical force (e.g., ultrasonic vibration) compared to pristine ZnO and SnS. In particular, the ZnO/SnS (with 30 wt.% of SnS) heterojunctions revealed an optimal degradation activity among all the prepared samples, which completely removed the Cr(VI) (20 mg/L) solution within 35 min. Moreover, the piezoelectric catalytic activity of ZnO/SnS remained stable after four consecutive cycling experiments. The results of the morphology observations indicated that the SnS nanoparticles adhere to the surface of the ZnO nanorods. The improved piezoelectric catalytic performance of the ZnO/SnS heterojunctions can be attributed to the formation of an intimate interfacial between ZnO and SnS, which effectively inhibits the electron-hole recombination and speeds up the rate of charge transfer. The study reveals a new design of ZnO/SnS heterojunctions as a high-performance and eco-friendly piezoelectric catalyst and provides a promising strategy for addressing environmental problems and energy crises.

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