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High Defect Nanoscale ZnO Films with Polar Facets for Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2019, 00:00 by Premrudee Promdet, Raul Quesada-Cabrera, Sanjayan Sathasivam, Jianwei Li, Arreerat Jiamprasertboon, Jian Guo, Alaric Taylor, Claire J. Carmalt, Ivan P. Parkin
The fabrication of highly efficient photocatalytic thin films has important consequences for self-cleaning, organic pollutant decomposition, and antimicrobial coatings for a variety of applications. Here, we developed a simple synthesis method to produce efficient, high-surface-area zinc oxide (ZnO) photocatalytic films using aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition. This approach used mixtures of methanol and acetic acid to promote preferential growth and exposure of polar facets, which favor photocatalytic activity. Interestingly, the initial enhanced efficiency of the films was correlated to structural defects, likely oxygen vacancies, as supported by photoluminescence spectroscopy results. Discussion over the influence of such defects on photocatalytic performance is described, and the need for strategies to develop high-surface-area materials containing stable defects is highlighted.