Synthesis and Characterization of ZnO/CuO Vertically Aligned Hierarchical Tree-like Nanostructure

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, 109 Lammot DuPont Laboratory, Newark, Delaware 19711, United States
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, 109 Lammot DuPont Laboratory, Newark, Delaware 19711, United States
*E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: +1 (302) 831-2331.
Cite this: Langmuir 2018, 34, 3, 961–969
Publication Date (Web):October 2, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02840
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Vertically aligned ZnO nanowire-based tree-like structures with CuO branches were synthesized on the basis of a multistep seed-mediated hydrothermal approach. The nanotrees form a p–n junction at the branch/stem interface that facilitates charge separation upon illumination. Photoelectrochemical measurements in different solvents show that ZnO/CuO hierarchical nanostructures have enhanced photocatalytic activity compared to that of the nonhierarchical structure of ZnO/CuO, pure ZnO, and pure CuO nanoparticles. The combination of ZnO and CuO in tree-like nanostructures provides opportunities for the design of photoelectrochemical sensors, photocatalytic synthesis, and solar energy conversion.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02840.

  • SEM image of a single ZnO/CuO NT, photos of CuO, ZnO, and ZnO/CuO NTs electrodes, XPS and XRD spectra of ZnO NWs and CuO NWs, Kubelka–Munk analysis, CV curves of CuO, ZnO, and ZnO/CuO NTs in 1 mM Fe(CN)63–/Fe(CN)64– in a 0.1 M KCl aqueous solution and 1 mM ferrocene in 0.1 M BuNF4 in acetonitrile, flat band voltages and carrier densities of ZnO, CuO, and ZnO/CuO NTs in a 0.1 M KCl aqueous solution and 0.1 M BuNF4 in acetonitrile, transient photocurrent curves and photocurrents in a 0.1 M KCl aqueous solution recorded over a period of continuous months, CV curve of 1 mM ascorbic acid in a 0.1 M KCl aqueous solution, CV curve of 1 mL of toluene in 0.1 BuNF4 in acetonitrile, SEM image of the non-tree structure of ZnO/CuO prepared without the seeding process, transient photocurrent in a 0.1 M KCl aqueous solution, and transient photocurrent in 0.1 BuNF4 in acetonitrile (PDF)

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