Mnx - ZnO(1-x) nanopowders were successfully synthesised through a simple sol-gel method. The samples were annealed at 300 °C to enhance their crystallinity. The lattice structure, morphology and optical properties of the prepared powdered samples were extensively studied using different characterization techniques, confirming the formation of Mnx - ZnO(1-x). The inclusion of Mn did not cause any change to the wurtzite structure of ZnO; however slight peak shifting and increase in lattice parameters were indicated. The normal absorption spectra pointed to a cut-off edge extending beyond the UV region and a Burstein- Moss type band gap broadening induced by the Mn doping. ZnO showed excellent photodegradation activity against methylene blue (MB) upon UV irradiation. Intensifying the dopant concentration resulted in further diminution of photoactivity against MB. This reduction of photocatalytic activity of ZnO upon doping can be drawn to be due to the presence of Mn in the ZnO lattice, which acted as recombination sites for the photogenerated charge carriers. The results demonstrated that doping ZnO with Mn can be used to suppress the oxidative stress induced by reduced oxygen species (ROS) through generation of recombination centres. The suppression of toxic ROS generation implies possible application in fabrics and ointments for UV shielding applications.
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