2D ZnO mesoporous single-crystal nanosheets with exposed {0001} polar facets for the depollution of cationic dye molecules by highly selective adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition

Jing Liu, Zhi Yi Hu, Yao Peng, Hua Wen Huang, Yu Li, Min Wu, Xiao Xing Ke, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Bao Lian Su

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Two dimensional (2D) ZnO nanosheets are ideal system for dimensionally confined transport phenomenon investigation owing to specific surface atomic configuration. Therefore, 2D ZnO porous nanosheets with single-crystal nature and {0001} polar facets, likely display some specific physicochemical properties. In this work, for the first time, 2D ZnO mesoporous single-crystal nanosheets (ZnO-MSN) with {0001} polar facets have been designed and prepared via an intriguing colloidal templating approach through controlling the infiltration speed for the suspension of EG-capped ZnO nanoparticles and polymer colloids. The EG-capped ZnO nanoparticles are very helpful for single-crystal nanosheet formation, while the polymer colloids play dual roles on the mesoporosity generation and {0001} polar facets formation within the mesopores. Such special 2D structure not only accelerates the hole-electron separation and the electron transportation owing to the single-crystal nature, but also enhances the selective adsorption of organic molecules owing to the porous structure and the exposed {0001} polar facets with more O-termination (000-1) surfaces: the 2D ZnO-MSN shows highly selective adsorption and significantly higher photodegradation for positively charged rhodamine B than those for negatively charged methyl orange and neutral phenol, comparing with ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO-NP) and ZnO commercial nanoparticles (ZnO-CNP) with high surface areas. This work may shed some light on better understanding the synthesis of 2D porous single-crystal nanosheet with exposed polar surfaces and photocatalytic mechanism of nanostructured semiconductors in a mixed organic molecules system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Catalysis. B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • 2D ZnO mesoporous single-crystal nanosheets
  • Colloidal templating approach
  • Organic molecules
  • Photocatalytic activity and selectivity
  • Polar facets

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