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Photocatalytic reduction of nitro aromatic compounds to amines using a nanosized highly active CdS photocatalyst under sunlight and blue LED irradiation

Ali Asghar Safari and Foad Kazemi

aDepartment of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS), Gava Zang, Zanjan, 45137-66731, Iran



Abstract: A variety of aromatic nitro compounds were chemoselectively reduced to the corresponding anilines using conveniently prepared nanosized CdS as a photocatalyst under the sunlight and blue LED irradiation. The results demonstrated that synthesized CdS nanostructures have the potential to provide a promising visible light driven photocatalyst for chemoselective reduction of nitro aromatics in the presence of nitrile and carbonyl groups to the corresponding amines under both sunlight and blue LED irradiation. Photoreduction of nitro aromatics by the prepared nanosized CdS with high surface area was faster than when using the commercially available CdS under both sunlight and LED irradiation. Nanosized CdS photocatalyst was prepared by a simple method without any capping agent. X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectrometry (EDAX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), N2 absorption–desorption, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and flat band potential methods were employed for the characterization, which revealed that the prepared CdS nanoparticles have a well-resolved cubic structure with the size of around 10–30 nm and a band gap of 2.37 eV.

Keywords: photoreduction – nanosized CdS – aromatic nitro compounds – LED – sunlight

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0231


Chemical Papers 70 (5) 531–537 (2016)

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