In this work, the effect of a new nanocomposite material on the photodegradation of methylene blue is demonstrated. The nanocomposite is synthesized by the combination of cupric oxide (CuO) with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) and characterized by XRD, FE-SEM, FTIR, Raman, and UV–vis spectroscopy. Interestingly, the inclusion of GNPs with CuO enhances the photocatalytic properties of nanocomposite without tweaking inherent properties such as the conductive nature of GNPs. Within 80min of exposure to the solar light, a 99.44% photodegradation of methylene blue is achieved, which is much better than using CuO alone, for which the degradation is only 75%. The much-improved photocatalytic performance of the nanocomposite is a consequence of low bandgap energy of GCuO as well as the conducting nature of GNPs, that causes fast photo excitation of electrons and lengthens the recombination lifetime of charge carriers respectively.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.