Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie | 2019

Nanocrystalline Ga–Zn Oxynitride Materials: Minimized Defect Density for Improved Photocatalytic Activity?



Abstract We present an alternative synthesis strategy for developing nanocrystalline (Ga1−xZnx)(N1−xOx) semiconductors known to be very efficient photoabsorbers. In a first step we produce mixtures of highly crystalline β-Ga2O3 and wurtzite-type ZnO nanoparticles by chemical vapor synthesis. (Ga1−xZnx)(N1−xOx) nanoparticles of wurtzite structure are then formed by reaction of these precursor materials with ammonia. Microstructure as well as composition (zinc loss) changes with nitridation time: band gap energy, crystallite size and crystallinity increase, while defect density decreases with increasing nitridation time. Crystallite growth results in a corresponding decrease in specific surface area. In the UV regime photocatalytic activity for overall water splitting can be monitored for samples both before and after nitridation. We find a significantly lower photocatalytic activity in the nitrided samples, even though the crystallinity is significantly higher and the defect density is significantly lower after nitridation. Both properties should have led to a lower probability for charge carrier recombination, and, consequently, to a higher photocatalytic activity.

Volume 234
Pages 1133 - 1153
DOI 10.1515/zpch-2019-1432
Language English
Journal Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie

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