Template free mild hydrothermal synthesis of core-shell Cu2O(Cu)@CuO visible light photocatalysts for N-acetyl-para-aminophenol degradation

Abstract

Solar photocatalytic processes are a promising approach to environmental remediation, however their implementation requires improvements in visible light harvesting and conversion and a focus on low cost, Earth abundant materials. Semiconducting copper oxides are promising visible light photocatalysts for solar fuels and wastewater depollution. Here we report the mild, hydrothermal (template-free) synthesis of core-shell Cu2O(Cu)@CuO photocatalytic architectures for the visible light photocatalytic degradation of N-acetyl-para-aminophenol (APAP). Hollow and rattle-like core-shell nanosphere aggregates with diameters between 200 nm and 2.5 m formed under different synthesis conditions; all comprised an inner Cu2O shell, formed of 10-50 nm nanoparticles, surrounded by a protective corona of CuO nanoparticles. High reductant and structure-directing agent concentrations promoted the formation of a yolk-like Cu2O/Cu core, associated with improved photophysical properties, notably a high oxidation potential and suppressed charge carrier recombination, that correlated with the highest apparent quantum efficiency (8 %) and rate of APAP removal (7 mol.g-1.min-1). Trapping experiments demonstrated hydroxyl radicals were the primary active species responsible for APAP oxidation to quinones and short chain carboxylic acids. Rattle-like core-shell Cu2O/Cu@CuO nanospheres exhibited excellent physiochemical stability and recyclability for APAP photocatalytic degradation.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9TA07009E
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Additional Information: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chemistry(all),Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment,Materials Science(all)
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Related URLs: https://pubs.rs ... 9E#!divAbstract (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-08-19
Accepted Date: 2019-08-15
Authors: Sekar, Karthikeyan
Chuaicham, Chitiphon
Pawar, Radheshyam
Sasaki, Keiko
Li, Wei (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4036-467X)
Lee, Adam
Wilson, Karen

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