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Synthesis and Characterization of ZnO/CuO Vertically Aligned Hierarchical Tree-like Nanostructure

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journal contribution
posted on 02.10.2017, 00:00 by Zhengxin Li, Meng Jia, Baxter Abraham, Jolie C. Blake, Daniel Bodine, John T. Newberg, Lars Gundlach
Vertically aligned ZnO nanowire-based tree-like structures with CuO branches were synthesized on the basis of a multistep seed-mediated hydrothermal approach. The nanotrees form a p–n junction at the branch/stem interface that facilitates charge separation upon illumination. Photoelectrochemical measurements in different solvents show that ZnO/CuO hierarchical nanostructures have enhanced photocatalytic activity compared to that of the nonhierarchical structure of ZnO/CuO, pure ZnO, and pure CuO nanoparticles. The combination of ZnO and CuO in tree-like nanostructures provides opportunities for the design of photoelectrochemical sensors, photocatalytic synthesis, and solar energy conversion.