The Study of Near-Band-Edge Property in Oxygen-Incorporated ZnS for Acting as an Efficient Crystal Photocatalyst

A wide gap semiconductor material has attracted attention as a heterophotocatalyst because of its light harvesting nature to be used in alternative energy production for the next generation. We, herein, grow and synthesize ZnS<sub>(1–<i>x</i>)</sub>O<sub><i>x</i></sub> series compounds using the chemical vapor transport (CVT) method with I<sub>2</sub> serving as the transport agent. Different crystals, such as undoped ZnS and oxygen-doped ZnS<sub>0.94</sub>O<sub>0.06</sub> and ZnS<sub>0.88</sub>O<sub>0.12</sub>, revealed different bright palette emissions that were presented in photoluminescence spectra in our previous report. To study the electron–hole pair interaction of this sample series, the near-band-edge transitions of the sample series were characterized in detail by photoconductivity (PC) experiments. Additional results from surface photovoltage (SPV) spectra also detected the surface and defect-edge transitions from the higher oxygen-doped ZnS crystals. PC measurement results showed a red-shift in the bandgap with increasing incorporation of oxygen on ZnS. Consequently, the samples were subjected to photoirradiation by xenon lamp for the degradation of methylene blue (MNB) by acting as heterophotocatalysts. Undoped ZnS emerged as the best photocatalyst candidate with the fastest rate constant value of 0.0277 min<sup>–1</sup>. In cubic {111} ZnS [{111} c-ZnS], the polarized Zn<sup>+</sup> → S<sup>–</sup> ions may play a vital role as a photocatalyst because of their strong electron–hole polarization, which leads to the mechanism for degradation of the MNB solution.