Highly Porous and Ultra-Lightweight Aero-Ga2O3: Enhancement of Photocatalytic Activity by Noble Metals
A new type of photocatalyst is proposed on the basis of aero-β-Ga2O3, which is a material constructed from a network of interconnected tetrapods with arms in the form of microtubes with nanometric walls. The aero-Ga2O3 material is obtained by annealing of aero-GaN fabricated by epitaxial growth on ZnO microtetrapods. The hybrid structures composed of aero-Ga2O3 functionalized with Au or Pt nanodots were tested for the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye under UV or visible light illumination. The functionalization of aero-Ga2O3 with noble metals results in the enhancement of the photocatalytic performances of bare material, reaching the performances inherent to ZnO while gaining the advantage of the increased chemical stability. The mechanisms of enhancement of the photocatalytic properties by activating aero-Ga2O3 with noble metals are discussed to elucidate their potential for environmental applications.