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Biomimetic Polyimide-Supported Cuprous Oxide Photocatalytic Film with Tunable Hydrophobicity, Improved Thermal Stability, and Photocatalytic Activity toward CO2 Reduction

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journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2019, 11:30 by I-Hsiang Tseng, Li-Huan Kang, Po-Ya Chang, Mei-Hui Tsai, Jui-Ming Yeh, Ta-I Yang
Flexible and thermally stable polyimide (PI) films containing a hierarchical surface structure were synthesized as substrates to support visible-light active cuprous oxide for photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide for the first time. With the nanocasting technique, the surface structure on the leaves of Xanthosoma sagittifolium was successfully duplicated on PI films. Followed by the ion-exchange process and adequate thermal treatment, cuprous oxide nanoparticles were successfully immobilized on the artificial PI leaves and exhibited the capability to photoreduce carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide under visible-light illumination. With the selection of biomimetic structures and adjustment of fabrication parameters, the hydrophobicity and optical absorption edge of the photocatalytic film were tunable. An increase in hydrophobicity improved the yield of carbon monoxide. The introduction of a hierarchical structure on the surface and cuprous oxide within the matrix dramatically enhanced the thermal stability of the PI film. The flexible photocatalytic film is a promising material for the applications requiring high mechanical and thermal stability, such as industrial flue-gas treatments.