The study published in the «Journal of Alloys and Compounds» was developed by the UJI and the CDMF of Brazil.
Ongoing analysis of wastewater reveals an increase in the concentration of phenols, pesticides, dyes, and other organic compounds that not only affect the environment, but are very harmful to health. Therefore, obtaining multifunctional materials capable of eliminating these pollutants by degradation and giving rise to non-toxic molecules such as H₂O and CO₂, which also have bactericidal and fungicidal activity, is a primary objective in chemistry, physics and materials science.
A joint experimental and theoretical study carried out by an international Spanish-Brazilian team on the structural, electronic and optical properties of silver chromate (Ag2CrO4) to which zinc has been added, has demonstrated the effectiveness of this compound in photocatalytic, bactericidal and fungicidal activities. For the first time, the synthesis of these multifunctional materials has been carried out by the cationic exchange of zinc and silver, using a simple, fast and cheap coprecipitation method. Moreover, its high photocatalytic power for the degradation of rhodamine B (dye) and antibacterial effect against the fungus Candida albicans and the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus have been demonstrated.
These results have been achieved thanks to the use of ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectra and photoluminescence spectroscopy, and theoretical simulations, based on the advanced methods and techniques of theoretical and computational chemistry. This combination is an innovative strategy that has made it possible to understand, comprehend and improve their chemical and physical properties and their applications. All this is the starting point for the development of new technologies for the design and obtaining of new materials with high photocatalytic, bactericidal and fungicidal activities, which will have a great impact in the field of the environment and health.
The study has been carried out by researchers from the Centre for the Development of Functional Materials (CDMF), directed by Professor Elson Longo, and the Institute of Chemistry of the University of São Paulo of Brazil and the Laboratory of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, coordinated by Professor Juan Andrés of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry of the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló. It has been published in the May issue of the Journal of Alloys and Compounds.
Ivo M. Pinatti, Ana C.M. Tello, Aline B. Trench, Camila C. de Foggi, Paula F.S. Pereira, Mayara M. Teixeira, Natalia Jacomaci, Juan Andrés and Elson Longo Zinc-substituted Ag2CrO4: A material with enhanced photocatalytic and biological activity, Journal of Alloys and Compounds. Volume 835, 2020, 155315. ISSN 0925-8388.