Influence of ionic liquid on the photoelectrochemical properties of ZnO particles

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Trindade, Leticia Guerreiro da
Minervino, Gabriela Bosco [UNIFESP]
Trench, Aline Barrios
Carvalho, Maria Helena
Assis, Marcelo
Li, Maximo Siu
Oliveira, Adilson Jesus Aparecido de
Pereira, Ernesto Chaves
Mazzo, Tatiana Martelli [UNIFESP]
Longo, Elson
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ZnO particles synthesized by the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method were sensitized with different amounts of ionic liquid (IL) 1.3-dimethylimidazolium iodide (MMI.I). The structure of the modified and unmodified ZnO particles were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, field emission gun-scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL), and photoelectrochemical measurements. While the sensitization of ZnO particles by the ionic liquid does not change the ZnO phase, it reduces the particle size and converts shallow defects to deep defects. These changes cause the photocurrent density of the ZnO/IL films to increase significantly from 0.05 mA cm(-2) for pure ZnO to 0.52 and 1.24 mA cm(-2) for the ZnO films containing 20% and 35% by mass of the IL, respectively, at 1.08 V vs. Ag/AgCl. This about 24-fold increase in the photocurrent density of the ZnO/IL35 sample may indicate that the MMI.I IL may be acting as a dye, since it is constituted by an organic part, MMI+. This good performance presented by this sample indicates that this is a promising material for photoanode in solar cells.
Ceramics International. Oxford, v. 44, n. 9, p. 10393-10401, 2018.