Oxynitrides with narrow band gap are promising materials as visible-light sensitive photocatalysts, because introduction of nitrogen ions can negatively shift the position of valence band maximum of the corresponding oxides to negative side. (Zn1+xGe)(N2Ox) with wurtzite structure is one of the oxynitride materials. (Zn1+xGe)(N2Ox) with nanotube morphology was synthesized by nitridation of Zn2GeO4 nanorods at 800 °C for 6 h. During the nitridation process, the nanorod with smooth surface was transformed into nanotube with rough surface in spite of no template for formation of tube structure. The nanotube formation can be caused by ordered morphological transformation from Zn2GeO4 nanorod during the nitridation. (Zn1+xGe)(N2Ox) nanotube exhibited a large specific surface area due to its nanotube morphology and the ability to be responsive to visible light because of the narrow band gap of 2.76 eV. Compared to (Zn1+xGe)(N2Ox) synthesized by conventional solid state reaction, the optimized (Zn1+xGe)(N2Ox) nanotube possessed enhanced photocatalytic NOx decomposition activity under both ultraviolet and visible light irradiation.
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