Photocatalytic removal of NO and HCHO over nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes for indoor air purification

Zhihui AI, Shuncheng LEE, Yu HUANG, Wing Kei HO, Lizhi ZHANG

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Nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes were hydrothermally synthesized and systematically characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, XPS, N₂ adsorption–desorption, and UV–vis DRS analysis. The resulting Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes with the edge size ranging from 0.8 to 1.2 μm were composed of numerous nanoparticles with size of 10–20 nm, and their optical band gap energy was estimated to be 3.25 eV from the UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra. On degradation of nitrogen monoxide (NO) and formaldehyde (HCHO) at typical concentrations for indoor air quality, these nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes exhibited superior photocatalytic activity to the hydrothermally synthesized ZnO, SnO₂, and Degussa TiO₂ P25, as well as C doped TiO₂ under UV–vis light irradiation. This enhanced photocatalytic activity of the nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes was attributed to their bigger surface areas, smaller particle size, special porous structures, and special electronic configuration. The nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes were chemically stable as there was no obvious deactivation during the multiple photocatalytic reactions. This work presents a promising approach for scaling-up industrial production of Zn₂SnO₄ nanostructures and suggests that the synthesized nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes are promising photocatalysts for indoor air purification. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-150
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010



Ai, Z., Lee, S., Huang, Y., Ho, W., & Zhang, L. (2010). Photocatalytic removal of NO and HCHO over nanocrystalline Zn₂SnO₄ microcubes for indoor air purification. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 179(1-3), 141-150. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.02.071


  • Zn₂SnO₄
  • NO
  • HCHO
  • Photocatalysis