Surface Functionalization of Grown-on-Tip ZnO Nanopyramids: From Fabrication to Light-Triggered Applications

Alberto Gasparotto, Chiara Maccato, Giorgio Carraro, Cinzia Sada, Urska Lavrencic Stangar, Bruno Alessi, Conor Rocks, Davide Mariotti, Andrea La Porta, Thomas Altantzis, Davide Barreca

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Abstract

We report on a combined chemical vapor deposition (CVD)/radio frequency (RF) sputtering synthetic strategy for the controlled surface modification of ZnO nanostructures by Ti-containing species. Specifically, the proposed approach consists in the CVD of grown-on-tip ZnO nanopyramids, followed by titanium RF sputtering under mild conditions. The results obtained by a thorough characterization demonstrate the successful ZnO surface functionalization with dispersed Ti-containing species in low amounts. This phenomenon, in turn, yields a remarkable enhancement of photoactivated superhydrophilic behavior, self-cleaning ability, and photocatalytic performances in comparison to bare ZnO. The reasons accounting for such an improvement are unravelled by a multitechnique analysis, elucidating the interplay between material chemico-physical properties and the corresponding functional behavior. Overall, the proposed strategy stands as an amenable tool for the mastering of semiconductor-based functional nanoarchitectures through ad hoc engineering of the system surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15881-15890
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume11
Issue number17
Early online date18 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • ZnO-based nanomaterials
  • photocatalysis
  • photoinduced superhydrophilicity
  • self-cleaning
  • surface engineering

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    Gasparotto, A., Maccato, C., Carraro, G., Sada, C., Lavrencic Stangar, U., Alessi, B., Rocks, C., Mariotti, D., La Porta, A., Altantzis, T., & Barreca, D. (2019). Surface Functionalization of Grown-on-Tip ZnO Nanopyramids: From Fabrication to Light-Triggered Applications. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11(17), 15881-15890. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b22744