A new type of hybrid nanostructure: complete photo-generated carrier separation and ultrahigh photocatalytic activity†
In this work, we obtained a new type of hybrid nanostructure which is formed in the ultrathin shells of mixed metal oxide hollow spheres. This new type of hybrid nanostructure exhibited a complete separation of photo-generated hole–electron pairs and ultrahigh photocatalytic activity which has never been seen before. Using the TiO2/SnO2 hybrid nanostructure as an example, we found that this hybrid nanostructure not only has small grain size and an ultrahigh surface area but is also important for its excellent crystalline compatibility and single-layer distributed arrangement for each nanoheterojunction. Thus, this unique structure leads to complete carrier separation and excellent photocatalytic activity. The typical method has been extended successfully to the synthesis of other hybrid nanostructures. We believe our methodology provides a general route to synthesize the new type of hybrid nanostructure for subsequent applications.