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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Wet Synthesis of Elongated Hexagonal ZnO Microstructures for Applications as Photo-Piezoelectric Catalysts

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, DISTEBA, University of Salento, Via per Arnesano, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
2
CNR-IPCF Sez. Bari, c/o Department of Chemistry, University of Bari, via Orabona 4, I-70126 Bari, Italy
3
Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Salento, Via D. Birago, 48, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
4
Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali, INSTM, Via G. Giusti, 9, I-50121 Firenze, Italy
5
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Via per Monteroni, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(13), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13132938
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft and Nanostructured Materials for Energy Conversion)
It is well known that energetic demand and environmental pollution are strictly connected; the side products of vehicle and industrial exhausts are considered extremely dangerous for both human and environmental health. In the last years, the possibility to simultaneously photo-degrade water dissolved pollutants by means of ZnO nanostructures and to use their piezoelectric features to enhance the photo-degradation process has been investigated. In the present contribution, an easy and low-cost wet approach to synthetize hexagonal elongated ZnO microstructures in the wurtzite phase was developed. ZnO performances as photo-catalysts, under UV-light irradiation, were confirmed on water dissolved methylene blue dye. Piezoelectric responses of the synthetized ZnO microstructures were evaluated, as well, by depositing them into films onto flexible substrates, and a home-made layout was developed, in order to stimulate the ZnO microstructures deposited on solid supports by means of mechanical stress and UV photons, simultaneously. A relevant increment of the photo-degradation efficiency was observed when the piezopotential was applied, proposing the present approach as a completely eco-friendly tool, able to use renewable energy sources to degrade water solved pollutants. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO; piezopotential; photodegradation; UV-Vis spectroscopy; piezo-photodegradation ZnO; piezopotential; photodegradation; UV-Vis spectroscopy; piezo-photodegradation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pagano, R.; Ingrosso, C.; Giancane, G.; Valli, L.; Bettini, S. Wet Synthesis of Elongated Hexagonal ZnO Microstructures for Applications as Photo-Piezoelectric Catalysts. Materials 2020, 13, 2938.

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