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Ultrafast epitaxial growth of CuO nanowires using atmospheric pressure plasma with enhanced electrocatalytic and photocatalytic activities

Dey, A; Ghosh, P; Chandrabose, G; Damptey, LAO; Kuganathan, N; Sainio, S; Nordlund, D; ... Krishnamurthy, S; + view all (2021) Ultrafast epitaxial growth of CuO nanowires using atmospheric pressure plasma with enhanced electrocatalytic and photocatalytic activities. Nano Select 10.1002/nano.202100191. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This work reports an environment friendly alternative to epitaxially grow copper oxide nanowires (NWs) on copper substrates using single step atmospheric pressure plasma jet assisted oxidation. NWs of average length 300 nm are grown rapidly in 5 minutes along with transforming the surface to superhydrophilic. This method introduces defects in the nanowire structure which is otherwise difficult to achieve due to the highly isotropic nature of nanowire growth. High resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals vacancies and structural defects such as lattice twinning and kinks. Theoretical investigations using density functional theory calculations indicated that oxygen vacancies reduces the adsorption energy of methanol molecules onto the CuO (111) surface and shifts the Fermi level towards conduction band. During electrocatalysis, these defect-rich nanowires exhibit twice the catalytic activity toward oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) in comparison to the traditionally thermally grown nanowires. Moreover, retreating the electrodes after each stability test drops the contact resistance similar to the prisitine sample. Additionally, these NW photocathodes demonstrate an exceptional photocurrent of 2.2 mAcm^{–2} and have an excellent degradation activity towards organic pollutants namely phenol and paracetamol. This facile growth method can be used to engineer nanowires of other transition metals with enhanced activities.

Type: Article
Title: Ultrafast epitaxial growth of CuO nanowires using atmospheric pressure plasma with enhanced electrocatalytic and photocatalytic activities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/nano.202100191
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/nano.202100191
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Nano Select published by Wiley-VCH GmbH. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: copper oxide, defect engineering, dye degradation, electrocatalysis, nanowire, photocatalysis methanol oxidation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132079
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