Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nanoscale. 2014 Aug 7;6(15):8796-803. doi: 10.1039/c4nr01607f.

A facile green antisolvent approach to Cu2+-doped ZnO nanocrystals with visible-light-responsive photoactivities.

Author information

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan 30010, Republic of China.


An environmentally benign antisolvent method has been developed to prepare Cu(2+)-doped ZnO nanocrystals with controllable dopant concentrations. A room temperature ionic liquid, known as a deep eutectic solvent (DES), was used as the solvent to dissolve ZnO powders. Upon the introduction of the ZnO-containing DES into a bad solvent which shows no solvation to ZnO, ZnO was precipitated and grown due to the dramatic decrease of solubility. By adding Cu(2+) ions to the bad solvent, the growth of ZnO from the antisolvent process was accompanied by Cu(2+) introduction, resulting in the formation of Cu(2+)-doped ZnO nanocrystals. The as-prepared Cu(2+)-doped ZnO showed an additional absorption band in the visible range (400-800 nm), which conduced to an improvement in the overall photon harvesting efficiency. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectra, together with the photovoltage information, suggested that the doped Cu(2+) may otherwise trap photoexcited electrons during the charge transfer process, inevitably depressing the photoconversion efficiency. The photoactivity of Cu(2+)-doped ZnO nanocrystals for photoelectrochemical water oxidation was effectively enhanced in the visible region, which achieved the highest at 2.0 at% of Cu(2+). A further increase in the Cu(2+) concentration however led to a decrease in the photocatalytic performance, which was ascribed to the significant carrier trapping caused by the increased states given by excessive Cu(2+). The photocurrent action spectra illustrated that the enhanced photoactivity of the Cu(2+)-doped ZnO nanocrystals was mainly due to the improved visible photon harvesting achieved by Cu(2+) doping. These results may facilitate the use of transition metal ion-doped ZnO in other photoconversion applications, such as ZnO based dye-sensitized solar cells and magnetism-assisted photocatalytic systems.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Royal Society of Chemistry
    Loading ...
    Support Center