Researchers using the XSD 11-ID-C beamline at the APS have developed a synthetic approach to form octahedral Cu2O microcrystals with a tunable edge length. The team is using the microcrystals as catalysts for the photo-degradation of aromatic organic compounds. The research has been published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.
We report a synthetic approach to form octahedral Cu2O microcrystals with a tunable edge length and demonstrate their use as catalysts for the photo-degradation of aromatic organic compounds. In this particular study, the effects of the Cu2+ and reductant concentrations and stoichiometric ratios were carefully examined to identify their roles in controlling the final material composition and size under sustainable reaction conditions. Varying the ratio and concentrations of Cu2+ and reductant added during the synthesis determined the final morphology and composition of the structures. Octahedral particles were prepared at selected ratios of Cu2+:glucose that demonstrated a range of photo-catalytic reactivity.
The results indicate that material composition, surface area, and substrate charge effects play important roles in controlling the overall reaction rate. Additionally, analysis of the post-reacted materials revealed photo-corrosion was inhibited and that surface etching had preferentially occurred at the particle edges during the reaction, suggesting that the reaction predominately occurred at these interfaces. Such results advance the understanding of how size and composition affect the surface interface and catalytic functionality of materials.
Michelle A. Nguyen, Nicholas M. Bedford, Yang Ren, Elsayed M. Zahran, Robert C Goodin, Fatima F Chagani, Leonidas G. Bachas and Marc R. Knecht, “Direct Synthetic Control over the Size, Composition and Photocatalytic Activity of Octahedral Copper Oxide Materials: Correlation Between Surface Structure and Catalytic Functionality,” Applied Materials and Interfaces, Just Accepted Manuscript. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b04282, Published May 26, 2015.