Nano Research

Article Title

Synthesis and enhanced photocatalytic activity of regularly shaped Cu2O nanowire polyhedra


Nanowire superstructures, polyhedra, cuprous oxide, photocatalysis, morphology control


ABSTRACT A series of unique nanowire superstructures, Cu2O nanowire polyhedra, have been synthesized through a cost-effective hydrothermal route. Three types of nanowire polyhedra, namely octahedra, concave octahedra, and hexapods, were formed in high morphological yields (90%) by reducing cupric acetate with o-anisidine or o-phenetidine in the presence of carboxylic acids. The architectures of these Cu2O nanowire polyhedra were examined by electron microscopy, which revealed ordered, highly aligned Cu2O nanowires within the polyhedral outlines. The growth of the Cu2O nanowire polyhedra is controlled by the orientation and growth rates of the nanowire branches which are adjusted by addition of carboxylic acids. Compared to the Cu2O samples reported in the recent literature, the Cu2O nanowire octahedra exhibit notably enhanced photocatalytic activities for dye degradation in the presence of H2O2 under visible light, probably due to the high-density charge carriers photoexcited from the branched nanowires with their special structures. Additionally, the discussion in the recent literature of the photocatalytic activity of Cu2O in the absence of H2O2 for direct photodegradation of dyes seems questionable.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press