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Rapid room-temperature synthesis of nanosheet-assembled ZnO mesocrystals with excellent photocatalytic activity

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Title
Rapid room-temperature synthesis of nanosheet-assembled ZnO mesocrystals with excellent photocatalytic activity
Author
Wang, MingsongZhang, YipingZhou, YajunYang, FengwuKim, Eui JungHahn, Sung HongSeong, Seung Gie
Keywords
SINGLE-CRYSTALLINE ZNO; HYDROTHERMAL SYNTHESIS; OPTICAL-PROPERTIES; SENSING PROPERTIES; AQUEOUS-SOLUTIONS; ZINC-OXIDE; NANORODS; NANOSTRUCTURES; NANOCRYSTALS; SUPERSTRUCTURES
Issue Date
201301
Publisher
ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Citation
CRYSTENGCOMM, v.15, no.4, pp.754 - 763
Abstract
We have investigated the growth of ZnO in a simple alkaline solution by chemical precipitation. ZnO nano(micro) structures with well-defined morphologies have been realized by tuning the Zn2+ : OH- ratio and the amount of the complexing agent NH4F. Importantly, we have demonstrated a fast spontaneous room-temperature formation of ZnO mesocrystals constructed with nanosheet subunits. The growth of ZnO involves the phase transformation from two intermediate compounds ZnF(OH) and Zn(OH)(2). The nanosheets are observed to be ZnO (10 (1) over bar0) facets from the side- and top-view high-resolution TEM measurements. By comparing the arrangement of the (10 (1) over bar0) nanosheets in the mesocrystal with the organization of the {10 (1) over bar0} planes in the wurtzite crystal structure of ZnO, we identify for the first time the assembly of 2D nanosheets into 3D architectures by epitaxy. This unique self-assembly by epitaxy effectively separates the nanosheets in an ordered manner, producing a robust, geometrically ideal photocatalyst that is easily separable and recyclable. Being constructed of reactive (10 (1) over bar0) facets, the microstructured ZnO exhibits much higher photocatalytic efficiency than its nanoparticle counterpart. The defective nature of the (10 (1) over bar0) facets confirmed by the photoluminescence study explains the visible photocatalysis of the nanosheet assemblies.
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DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2ce26660a
ISSN
1466-8033
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