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Characterization and application of the hetero-system LaCoO3/ZnO for degradation of Orange II under solar light

A. Ouatizerga, G. Rekhila, S. Mirad, and M. Trari

URMPE Research Unity of Materials, Processes and Environment, Faculty of Technology, M. Bougara University, Boumerdes, Algeria



Received: 16 February 2023  Accepted: 11 April 2023


LaCoO3 elaborated by nitrate route was characterized physically and electrochemically to be applied in the Orange II (OII) oxidation upon solar light. The X-ray diffraction (XRD), SEM analysis and electrical conductivity were undertaken. The diffractogram showed that the single phase is completed at 850 °C and the oxide crystallizes in a distorted perovskite structure. The peak at 643 cm−1 in the attenuated total reflection (ATR) spectrum confirmed the purity of the phase. The forbidden band (1.35 eV), determined from the diffuse reflectance, is assigned to Co3+: d-d transition in a low spin configuration (3d6, E5/2) in conformity with the black color of the oxide. The field-dependent magnetization was measured at 300 K in the range ± 25 kOe, and the perovskite exhibits a low magnetism with a saturation magnetization (0.28 emu/g) confirming the low spin state Co3+. The thermal variation of the conductivity is characteristic of non-degenerate behavior and a hole mobility of 10−2 cm2 V−1 s−1 and an activation energy of 0.11 eV. The latter is different from that obtained from the thermo-power, a signature of a conduction mechanism by small polaron hopping. LaCoO3 is chemically stable above pH 5; an exchange current density of 40 μA cm−2, a polarization resistance of 1.92 kΩ cm2 and a corrosion potential of 0.99 VSCE were obtained at pH ~ 7 (Na2SO4, 0.1 M). Curiously and unlike the perovskites, the variation of the inverse of the square of the capacitance as a function of potential (C−2 − E) indicates p type behavior with a flat band potential of 0.30 VSCE and holes density of 1.97 × 1017 cm−3. The conduction band (− 0.94 VSCE), made up of Co3+: 3d orbital, enables the formation of the radical O2•−, and as application, the oxide was successfully experimented for the oxidation of OII upon solar irradiation. The hetero-junction p-LaCoO3/n-ZnO enhances considerably the photo-activity, due to the facile transfer of electrons with an abatement of 86% at neutral pH. The oxidation follows a first-order kinetic with a half photocatalytic life of 23 min.

Keywords: Perovskite LaCoO3; Semiconductor; Photo-electrochemical; Orange II; ZnO; Solar light

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-02830-3


Chemical Papers 77 (9) 4935–4942 (2023)

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