Facile synthesis of Au/ZnO nanoparticles and their enhanced photocatalytic activity for hydroxylation of benzene

Hang Yu, Hai Ming, Jingjing Gong, Haitao Li, Hui Huang, Keming Pan, Yang Liu, Zhenhui Kang, Jie Wei, Dongtian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Au/ZnO nanocomposites have been prepared by a simple chemical method. For the first time, the nanocomposites were directly used as photocatalysts for hydroxylation of aromatic hydrocarbons under UV and visible light irradiation. The results show that the as-prepared photocatalysts display high photocatalytic activity for UV and visible catalytic hydroxylation of benzene. Without the assistance of any solvent or additive, high selectivity and high conversion efficiency were still obtained. Different photocatalytic mechanisms were proposed depending on whether excitation happens on ZnO semiconductor or on the surface plasmon band of Au. The former is Au nanoparticles act as electron buffer due to irradiation by UV light and ZnO nanoparticles as reactive sites for hydroxylation of benzene, the latter is that Au nanoparticles act as light harvesters and inject electrons into ZnO conduction band and as photocatalytic sites under visible light irradiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of Materials Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Nanocomposites
  • Photocatalysis
  • Visible light
  • Zinc oxide

Cite this