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Issue 13, 2018
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Oxygen-deficient photostable Cu2O for enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

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Abstract

Oxygen vacancies in inorganic semiconductors play an important role in reducing electron–hole recombination, which may have important implications in photocatalysis. Cuprous oxide (Cu2O), a visible light active p-type semiconductor, is a promising photocatalyst. However, the synthesis of photostable Cu2O enriched with oxygen defects remains a challenge. We report a simple method for the gram-scale synthesis of highly photostable Cu2O nanoparticles by the hydrolysis of a Cu(I)-triethylamine [Cu(I)–TEA] complex at low temperature. The oxygen vacancies in these Cu2O nanoparticles led to a significant increase in the lifetimes of photogenerated charge carriers upon excitation with visible light. This, in combination with a suitable energy band structure, allowed Cu2O nanoparticles to exhibit outstanding photoactivity in visible light through the generation of electron-mediated hydroxyl (OH˙) radicals. This study highlights the significance of oxygen defects in enhancing the photocatalytic performance of promising semiconductor photocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen-deficient photostable Cu2O for enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Nov 2017, accepted on 16 Feb 2018 and first published on 16 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08388B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 6039-6050
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    Oxygen-deficient photostable Cu2O for enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity

    M. Singh, D. Jampaiah, A. E. Kandjani, Y. M. Sabri, E. Della Gaspera, P. Reineck, M. Judd, J. Langley, N. Cox, J. van Embden, E. L. H. Mayes, B. C. Gibson, S. K. Bhargava, R. Ramanathan and V. Bansal, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 6039
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08388B

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