Facile Synthesis of SnO₂ Aerogel/Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites via in Situ Annealing for the Photocatalytic Degradation of Methyl Orange.

Affiliation

Laboratory of Electromechanical Systems (LASEM), National School of Engineers of Sfax (ENIS), University of Sfax, PO Box 1173, Route Soukra km 3.5, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia. [Email]

Abstract

SnO₂ aerogel/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposites were synthesized using the sol⁻gel method. A homogeneous dispersion of graphene oxide (GO) flakes in a tin precursor solution was captured in a three-dimensional network SnO₂ aerogel matrix and successively underwent supercritical alcohol drying followed by the in situ thermal reduction of GO, resulting in SnO₂ aerogel/rGO nanocomposites. The chemical interaction between aerogel matrix and GO functional groups was confirmed by a peak shift in the Fourier transform infrared spectra and a change in the optical bandgap of the diffuse reflectance spectra. The role of rGO in 3D aerogel structure was studied in terms of photocatalytic activity with detailed mechanism of the enhancement such as electron transfer between the GO and SnO₂. In addition, the photocatalytic activity of these nanocomposites in the methyl orange degradation varied depending on the amount of rGO loading in the SnO₂ aerogel matrix; an appropriate amount of rGO was required for the highest enhancement in the photocatalytic activity of the SnO₂ aerogel. The proposed nanocomposites could be a useful solution against water pollutants.

Keywords

SnO2 aerogel,graphene oxide,nanocomposite,photocatalysis,sol–gel method,