Zn Doping Induced Band Gap Widening of Ag2O Nanoparticles

The present investigation widens the narrow bandgap of Ag2O to make it a semiconductor with more attractive properties. A typical hydrothermal synthesis procedure was used to prepare Zn doped Ag2O nanoparticles. The X-ray diffraction analysis of the prepared powder samples showed that the lattice parameters of Ag2O increase with doping, indicating the occupation of interstitial positions by the dopant atoms. Density functional theory calculations also demonstrated the expansion of the Ag2O crystal lattice with the dopant at an interstitial location. The bandgap of the Ag2O increases to 1.65 eV for 5-mole percent doping. The doped Ag2O nanoparticles photocatalytically degrade methyl orange under aerobic visible light conditions. It appears that the rise in the percentage of higher valence Zn doping converts the originally p-type to an n-type semiconductor.