Journal article

Synchronic coupling of Cu2O(p)/CuO(n) semiconductors leading to Norfloxacin degradation under visible light: Kinetics, mechanism and film surface properties

The study presents the first evidence for Norfoxacin photodegradation by uniform, adhesive and robust CuOx-polystyrene (CuOx-PES) films under visible light. Repetitive Norfloxacin degradation was attained on CuOx-PES films activated by visible light. The smooth CuOx-PES surface properties were investigated by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The band-gap of the Cu2O and CuO making up CuOx films were estimated by Tauc's method. By atomic force microscopy (AFM) the CuOx micro-agglomerated size was determined as well as the relatively small roughness of 22.4 +/- 10% nm and the distance between the Norfloxacin anchoring points on the CuO peaks. Evidence is presented by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for the uniform distribution of Cu-clusters on the PES. The degradation of Norfloxacin was monitored in the range 2-20 mg/L, a Norfloxacin concentration far above the concentrations found in treated wastewaters. Proof of redox processes occurring in the CuOx during Norfloxacin degradation were monitored by (XPS). Deconvolution of the Cu2p3/2 peaks revealed Cu2O and CuO in different percentages before and after Norfloxacin degradation. The CuOx-PES samples were made up by Cu2O(p) and CuO(n) with an approximate ratio of Cu2O: CuO = 3: 1 before Norfloxacin degradation. Highly oxidative radical species and photogenerated holes Cu(2)Ovb (h(+)) were identified during Norfloxacin degradation. A mechanism is suggested for the Norfloxacin degradation involving highly oxidative radicals detected by scavenging experiment and the limits for the validity of this method are discussed. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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