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Solar light sensitive samaria doped ceria photocatalysts: microwave synthesis, characterization and photodegradation of Acid Orange 7 at atmospheric condition and in absence of any oxidizing agents, Bappaditya Mandal and Aparna Mondal* Department of Chemistry

N
ovel high surface area, mesoporous and crystalline samaria doped ceria (CeO2:Sm3+) nanopowders were successfully synthesized by combining the excellent properties of both microwave heating and surfactant, and were used as remarkably efficient new photocatalysts for degradation of a
representative azo dye Acid Orange 7 (AO7) in aqueous medium under natural sunlight without addition of any external reagents like peroxides, acid or base. The effects of calcination temperature, pH of the medium, catalyst dosage and irradiation time on the decolorization of AO7 were investigated. Sm3+ doping in CeO2 narrowed the band gap and significantly enhanced the photocatalytic degradation of the azo dye. The photocatalytic degradation of AO7 is also investigated by using certain radical scavengers and the results suggest that under solar-light irradiation predominantly positive holes and super oxide radicals (O2• −) act as the active species in the degradation process. Our results suggest these materials developed here are promising alternative solar light sensitive photocatalyst. More in DOI: 10.1039/C5RA03758A, RSC Adv., 2015,5, 43081-43091. (List of Research)

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