Tailoring CuO nanostructures for enhanced photocatalytic property

J. Liu, J. Jin, Z. Deng, S.-Z. Huang, Z.-Y. Hu, L. Wang, C. Wang, L.-H. Chen, Y. Li, G. Van Tendeloo, B.-L. Su

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We report on one-pot synthesis of various morphologies of CuO nanostructures. PEG200 as a structure directing reagent under the synergism of alkalinity by hydrothermal method has been employed to tailor the morphology of CuO nanostructures. The CuO products have been characterized by XRD, SEM, and TEM. The morphologies of the CuO nanostructures can be tuned from 1D (nanoseeds, nanoribbons) to 2D (nanoleaves) and to 3D (shuttle-like, shrimp-like, and nanoflowers) by changing the volume of PEG200 and the alkalinity in the reaction system. At neutral and relatively low alkalinity (OH/Cu≤3), the addition of PEG200 can strongly influence the morphologies of the CuO nanostructures. At high alkalinity (OH/Cu≥4), PEG200 has no influence on the morphology of the CuO nanostructure. The different morphologies of the CuO nanostructures have been used for the photodecomposition of the pollutant rhodamine B (RhB) in water. The photocatalytic activity has been correlated with the different nanostructures of CuO. The 1D CuO nanoribbons exhibit the best performance on the RhB photodecomposition because of the exposed high surface energy {-121} crystal plane. The photocatalytic results show that the high energy surface planes of the CuO nanostructures mostly affect the photocatalytic activity rather than the morphology of the CuO nanostructures. Our synthesis method also shows it is possible to control the morphologies of nanostructures in a simple way.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalOptics Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2012


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