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Direct Growth of Freestanding ZnO Tetrapod Networks for Multifunctional Applications in Photocatalysis, UV Photodetection, and Gas Sensing
- Mishra, Yogendra Kumar, Modi, Gaurav, Cretu, Vasilii, Postica, Vasile, Lupan, Oleg, Reimer, Tim, Paulowicz, Ingo, Hrkac, Viktor, Benecke, Wolfgang, Kienle, Lorenz, Adelung, Rainer
- ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.26 pp. 14303-14316
- X-ray diffraction, ambient temperature, crystal structure, decolorization, hydrogen, methylene blue, microstructure, nanomaterials, photocatalysis, photons, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet radiation, zinc oxide
- Growth of freestanding nano- and microstructures with complex morphologies is a highly desired aspect for real applications of nanoscale materials in various technologies. Zinc oxide tetrapods (ZnO-T), which exhibit three-dimensional (3D) shapes, are of major importance from a technological applications point of view, and thus efficient techniques for growth of different varieties of tetrapod-based networks are demanded. Here, we demonstrate the versatile and single-step synthesis of ZnO-T with different arm morphologies by a simple flame transport synthesis (FTS) approach, forming a network. Morphological evolutions and structural intactness of these tetrapods have been investigated in detail by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and micro-Raman measurements. For a deeper understanding of the crystallinity, detailed high-resolution transmission electron microscopic studies on a typical ZnO tetrapod structure are presented. The involved growth mechanism for ZnO tetrapods with various arm morphologies is discussed with respect to variations in experimental conditions. These ZnO-T have been utilized for photocatalytic degradation and nanosensing applications. The photocatalytic activities of these ZnO-T with different arm morphologies forming networks have been investigated through the photocatalytic decolorization of a methylene blue (MB) solution under UV light illumination at ambient temperature. The results show that these ZnO-T exhibit strong photocatalytic activities against MB and its complete degradation can be achieved in very short time. In another application, a prototype of nanoelectronic sensing device has been built from these ZnO-T interconnected networks and accordingly utilized for UV detection and H₂ gas sensing. The fabricated device structures showed excellent sensing behaviors for promising practical applications. The involved sensing mechanisms with respect to UV photons and H₂ gas are discussed in detail. We consider that such multifunctional nanodevices based on ZnO tetrapod interconnected networks will be of interest for various advanced applications.