Enhanced photocatalytic activity of homoassembled ZnO nanostructures on electrospun polymeric nanofibers: a combination of atomic layer deposition and hydrothermal growth
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental
173 - 183
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We report on the synthesis and photocatalytic activity (PCA) of electrospun poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) nanofibrous mat decorated with nanoneedles of zinc oxide (ZnO). Apart from a detailed morphological and structural characterization, the PCA has been carefully monitored and the results are discussed elaborately when juxtaposed with the photoluminescence. The present hierarchal homoassembled nanostructures are a combination of two types of ZnO with diverse optical qualities, i.e. (a) controlled deposition of ZnO coating on nanofibers with dominant oxygen vacancies and significant grain boundaries by atomic layer deposition (ALD), and (b) growth of single crystalline ZnO nanoneedles with high optical quality on the ALD seeds via hydrothermal process. The needle structure (~25. nm in diameter with an aspect ratio of ~24) also supports the vectorial transport of photo-charge carriers, which is crucial for high catalytic activity. Furthermore, it is shown that enhanced PCA is because of the catalytic activity at surface defects (on ALD seed), valence band, and conduction band (of ZnO nanoneedles). PCA and durability of the PAN/ZnO nanofibrous mat have also been tested with aqueous solution of methylene blue and the results showed almost no decay in the catalytic activity of this material when reused.
KeywordsAtomic layer deposition
Atomic layer deposition
Published Version (Please cite this version)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2014.03.004
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