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Issue 22, 2014
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Fe2O3/Cu2O heterostructured nanocrystals

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We report the synthesis of colloidal γ-Fe2O3/Cu2O hetero-nanocrystals (HNCs) using a solution-phase seeded-growth approach. γ-Fe2O3 nanocrystals were used as seeds for the nucleation of metallic Cu followed by oxidation of the Cu domain to Cu2O upon exposure to air. The resulting dimer, trimer, and oligomer HNCs were characterized by high resolution electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and powder X-ray diffraction. The iron oxide component was found to be mainly γ-Fe2O3 using a combination of Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. A maximal HNC yield of 72% was achieved by reducing particle growth time to a lower growth temperature with respect to the individual component particles. Size-selective precipitation was used to enrich the nanoparticle mixture in γ-Fe2O3/Cu2O dimers by removing the larger aggregates. Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy was used to determine that γ-Fe2O3 and Cu2O are n-doped and p-doped respectively and form a staggered, type II band alignment. As such, γ-Fe2O3/Cu2O HNCs may be attractive candidates for applications in solar energy conversion and represent a valuable addition to the growing library of oxide–oxide hetero-nanocrystals.

Graphical abstract: Fe2O3/Cu2O heterostructured nanocrystals

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The article was received on 10 Apr 2014, accepted on 11 Apr 2014 and first published on 16 Apr 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4TA01757A
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 8525-8533
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    Fe2O3/Cu2O heterostructured nanocrystals

    P. Mirtchev, K. Liao, E. Jaluague, Q. Qiao, Y. Tian, M. Varela, K. S. Burch, S. J. Pennycook, D. D. Perovic and G. Ozin, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 8525
    DOI: 10.1039/C4TA01757A

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