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Catalase-like and Peroxidase-like Catalytic Activities of Silicon Nanowire Arrays

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posted on 08.01.2013, 00:00 authored by Hongwei Wang, Wenwen Jiang, Yanwei Wang, Xiaoli Liu, Jianlin Yao, Lin Yuan, Zhaoqiang Wu, Dan Li, Bo Song, Hong Chen
Silicon nanowire arrays (SiNWAs) were found to have catalytic activities similar to those of biological enzymes catalase and peroxidase. Thus not only can these materials catalyze the decomposition reaction of H2O2 into water and oxygen, but they can also catalyze the oxidation of o-phenylenediamine (OPD), a common substrate for peroxidases, by H2O2. The presence of Si–H bonds and the morphology of the SiNWAs are found to be crucial to the occurrence of such catalytic activity. When the SiNWAs are reacted with H2O2, the data from Raman spectroscopy suggests the formation of (Si–H)2···(O species) ((Si–H)2···Os), which is presumably responsible for the catalytic activity. These findings suggest the potential use of SiNWAs as enzyme mimics in medicine, biotechnology, and environmental chemistry.