Optically engineered and hierarchically tailored light-concentrating photocatalysts

by Tian, Z. R.

In the rational design and low-cost synthesis of new photocatalst from nanoscale building blocks via the bottom-up approach, one challenge is to control the nanoparticles' inter-bonding and 3D-structuring on the substrate, and the other is to realize optics ideas for trapping and/or concentrating photons effectively on the photcatalysts. Our lab has reported the optimization between increasing the photocatlysts photon-penetration and maximizing the phtocatalyst surface area. On this basis, here we report a new study on the controlled self-assembly of photocatalytic nanocrystals into 3D-microstadium, and then on the selective dissolution of the microstadium into the local light-grating and omni-directional photo-trapping complex structures in the oriented array on conducting glass-substrates. The characterization data from the X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM) study have supported the multifunctional photocatalytic structure. The data in addition have revealed a hierarchical inter-bonding between nanoparticles new to the structural nanochem. which is potentially applicable to the rational design and scalable production of nanoparticles into new structures generally with well-integrated functions of many types.