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Morphology-Controlled Self-Assembly and Synthesis of Photocatalytic Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2014, 00:00 by Yong Zhong, Jiefei Wang, Ruifang Zhang, Wenbo Wei, Haimiao Wang, Xinpeng Lü, Feng Bai, Huimeng Wu, Raid Haddad, Hongyou Fan
Abilities to control the size and shape of nanocrystals in order to tune functional properties are an important grand challenge. Here we report a surfactant self-assembly induced micelle encapsulation method to fabricate porphyrin nanocrystals using the optically active precursor zinc porphyrin (ZnTPP). Through confined noncovalent interactions of ZnTPP within surfactant micelles, nanocrystals with a series of morphologies including nanodisk, tetragonal rod, and hexagonal rod, as well as amorphous spherical particle are synthesized with controlled size and dimension. A phase diagram that describes morphology control is achieved via kinetically controlled nucleation and growth. Because of the spatial ordering of ZnTPP, the hierarchical nanocrystals exhibit both collective optical properties resulted from coupling of molecular ZnTPP and shape dependent photocatalytic activities in photo degradation of methyl orange pollutants. This simple ability to exert rational control over dimension and morphology provides new opportunities for practical applications in photocatalysis, sensing, and nanoelectronics.