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Nanomaterials 2015, 5(4), 1971-1984; doi:10.3390/nano5041971

Synthesis of Ordered Mesoporous CuO/CeO2 Composite Frameworks as Anode Catalysts for Water Oxidation

Department of Materials Science and Technology, University of Crete, Vassilika Vouton, Heraklion 71003, Greece
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Academic Editors: Jordi Sort and Eva Pellicer
Received: 29 September 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Mesoporous Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

Cerium-rich metal oxide materials have recently emerged as promising candidates for the photocatalytic oxygen evolution reaction (OER). In this article, we report the synthesis of ordered mesoporous CuO/CeO2 composite frameworks with different contents of copper(II) oxide and demonstrate their activity for photocatalytic O2 production via UV-Vis light-driven oxidation of water. Mesoporous CuO/CeO2 materials have been successfully prepared by a nanocasting route, using mesoporous silica as a rigid template. X-ray diffraction, electron transmission microscopy and N2 porosimetry characterization of the as-prepared products reveal a mesoporous structure composed of parallel arranged nanorods, with a large surface area and a narrow pore size distribution. The molecular structure and optical properties of the composite materials were investigated with Raman and UV-Vis/NIR diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Catalytic results indicated that incorporation of CuO clusters in the CeO2 lattice improved the photochemical properties. As a result, the CuO/CeO2 composite catalyst containing ~38 wt % CuO reaches a high O2 evolution rate of ~19.6 µmol·h−1 (or 392 µmol·h−1·g−1) with an apparent quantum efficiency of 17.6% at λ = 365 ± 10 nm. This OER activity compares favorably with that obtained from the non-porous CuO/CeO2 counterpart (~1.3 µmol·h−1) and pure mesoporous CeO2 (~1 µmol·h−1). View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoporous materials; cerium oxide; nanocasting; nanostructured; water oxidation mesoporous materials; cerium oxide; nanocasting; nanostructured; water oxidation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Markoulaki Ι, V.; Papadas, I.T.; Kornarakis, I.; Armatas, G.S. Synthesis of Ordered Mesoporous CuO/CeO2 Composite Frameworks as Anode Catalysts for Water Oxidation. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 1971-1984.

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