Hierarchical CuO/ZnO membranes for environmental applications under the irradiation of visible light

Zhaoyang Liu, Hongwei Bai, Darren Delai Sun

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Solar visible light is a source of clean and cheap energy. Herein, a new kind of hierarchical CuO/ZnO nanomaterial was synthesized using a facile process. Characterized by FESEM, TEM, XRD, XPS, and so forth, this CuO/ZnO naomaterial shows a special hierarchical nanostructure with CuO nanoparticles grown on ZnO nanorods. By assembling the hierarchical CuO/ZnO nanomaterials on a piece of commercial glassfiber membrane, a novel hierarchical CuO/ZnO membrane was fabricated. This CuO/ZnO membrane demonstrated excellent environmental applications, such as improved photodegradation of contaminants and antibacterial activity, under the irradiation of visible light. Compared with pure ZnO nanorod membrane, the improved photodegradation and antibacterial capacities of this hierarchical CuO/ZnO membrane result from the special hierarchical nanostructure of CuO/ZnO nanomaterials, which could enhance light utilization rate, enlarge specific surface area, and retard the recombination of electrons and holes at the interfacial between CuO and ZnO. This hierarchical CuO/ZnO membrane is also easy to be regenerated by completely mineralizing the adsorbed contaminants under the irradiation of visible light. All the above characteristics of this hierarchical CuO/ZnO membrane indicate its great potential in environmental applications with solar visible light.

Original languageEnglish
Article number804840
JournalInternational Journal of Photoenergy
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)

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