Hydrothermal synthetic method has been used to prepare complex [ZnL]n (1) (H2L = 4-[(1H-imidazol-4-yl)methylamino]benzoic acid) as spherical microparticles. Slow morphological changes from small spindle-shaped particles to smoother spherical particles in the growth process of complex 1 were observed. Subsequently complex 1 was used as precursor as well as sacrificial template to synthesize hexagonal ZnO nanomaterials by calcination in air. The structure of the final products and the formation process were characterized by measurements of X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The formation mechanism of the final nanorods was proposed on the basis of the structural change of complex 1 in the calcination process. The photocatalytic properties of complex 1 and prepared ZnO have also been studied, and the results showed that all these nano-/micromaterials have photocatalytic properties and ZnO formed under lower calcinated temperature has higher photocatalytic activity.
Keywords: Zinc(II) oxide; Nanomaterial; Photocatalysis; Degradation; Rhodamine B