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Enhanced Electrochemical and Photocatalytic Performance of Core–Shell CuS@Carbon Quantum Dots@Carbon Hollow Nanospheres

De, Bibekananda, Balamurugan, Jayaraman, Kim, Nam Hoon, Lee, Joong Hee
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.3 pp. 2459-2468
biocompatibility, capacitance, carbon, electrochemistry, electrodes, electron transfer, energy, nanospheres, photocatalysis, photocatalysts, photoluminescence, quantum dots, solar radiation, storage quality, surface area
A controlled structural morphology, high specific surface area, large void space, and excellent biocompatibility are typical favorable properties in electrochemical energy storage and photocatalytic studies; however, a complete understanding about this essential topic still remains a great challenge. Herein, we have developed a new type of functionalized carbon hollow-structured nanospheres based on core–shell copper sulfide@carbon quantum dots (CQDs)@carbon hollow nanosphere (CHNS) architecture. This CuS@CQDs@C HNS is accomplished by a simple, scalable, in situ single-step hydrothermal method to produce the material that can be employed as an electrode for electrochemical energy storage and photocatalytic applications. Impressively, the CuS@CQDs@C HNS nanostructure delivers exceptional electrochemical energy storage characteristics with high specific capacitance (618 F g–¹ at a current density of 1 A g–¹) and an excellent rate capability with an extraordinary capacitance (462 F g–¹ at current density of 20 A g–¹) and long cycle life (95% capacitance retention after 4000 cycles). Further, the proposed photocatalyst exhibited superior photocatalytic activity under solar light due to the efficient electron transfer, which was revealed by photoluminescence studies. Such superior electrochemical and photocatalytic performance can be ascribed to the mutual contribution of CuS, CQDs, and CHNS and unique core–shell architecture. These results exhibit that the core–shell CuS@CQDs@C HNS nanostructure is one of the potential candidates for supercapacitors and photocatalytic applications.