Date of Graduation

Summer 2015


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Kartik Ghosh


Zinc oxide and copper oxide semiconductor nanostructures have tremendous potential in optoelectronic applications and energy technology. ZnO-CuO nanocomposite have been synthesized by energy efficient hydrothermal method from single stock solution. Structural properties of the nanocomposite samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman spectroscopy. Optical properties were studied by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. Rietveld analysis of the XRD data and SEM data confirmed the nanocomposite of ZnO-CuO with different ratios of ZnO and CuO. Raman spectra of the nanocomposites consist of optical vibrational mode of ZnO and CuO. The unique photoluminescence spectra have characteristic peaks in the visible range which confirmed that the nanocomposite can absorb better in the solar visible region. Further, synthesized samples were used for degradation of methylene blue dye under illumination of UV-Vis light to check the photocatalytic activity. Some nanocomposite samples have shown photocatalytic efficiency of 56% under the illumination of UV-Vis light. The efficiency of the catalyst, their growth mechanism, and the photocatalytic mechanism have been discussed in details. These ZnO-CuO nanocomposites can be used as effective photocatalytic material for waste water decontamination as well as hydrogen generation for energy applications.


nanocomposite, photocatalysis, optical properties, Rietveld refinement, phonon vibration

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering


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