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The Effect of Composition on the Properties and Application of CuO-NiO Nanocomposites Synthesized Using a Saponin-Green/Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Method.

In this study, we explored the formation of CuO nanoparticles, NiO nanoflakes, and CuO-NiO nanocomposites using saponin extract and a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. Five green synthetic samples were prepared using aqueous saponin extract and a microwave-assisted hydrothermal procedure at 200 °C for 30 min. The samples were pristine copper oxide (100C), 75% copper oxide-25% nickel oxide (75C25N), 50% copper oxide-50% nickel oxide (50C50N), 25% copper oxide-75% nickel oxide (25C75N), and pristine nickel oxide (100N). The samples were characterized using FT-IR, XRD, XPS, SEM, and TEM. The XRD results showed that copper oxide and nickel oxide formed monoclinic and cubic phases, respectively. The morphology of the samples was useful and consisted of copper oxide nanoparticles and nickel oxide nanoflakes. XPS confirmed the +2 oxidation state of both the copper and nickel ions. Moreover, the optical bandgaps of copper oxide and nickel oxide were determined to be in the range of 1.29-1.6 eV and 3.36-3.63 eV, respectively, and the magnetic property studies showed that the synthesized samples exhibited ferromagnetic and superparamagnetic properties. In addition, the catalytic activity was tested against para-nitrophenol, demonstrating that the catalyst efficiency gradually improved in the presence of CuO. The highest rate constants were obtained for the 100C and 75C25N samples, with catalytic efficiencies of 98.7% and 78.2%, respectively, after 45 min.

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