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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(9), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8090693

ZnO Nanowire Networks as Photoanode Model Systems for Photoelectrochemical Applications

1
Materials Research Department, GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, Planckstr. 1, 64291 Darmstadt, Germany
2
Material- und Geowissenschaften, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 2, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
3
Stuttgart Centre for Electron Microscopy, MPI for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstr. 1, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
4
Photocatalytic Synthesis Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Twente, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Characterization of Nanowires)
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Abstract

In this work, the fabrication of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowire networks is presented. By combining ion-track technology, electrochemical deposition, and atomic layer deposition, hierarchical and self-supporting three-dimensional (3D) networks of pure ZnO- and TiO2-coated ZnO nanowires were synthesized. Analysis by means of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy revealed a highly crystalline structure of the electrodeposited ZnO wires and the anatase phase of the TiO2 coating. In photoelectrochemical measurements, the ZnO and ZnO/TiO2 nanowire networks, used as anodes, generated higher photocurrents compared to those produced by their film counterparts. The ZnO/TiO2 nanowire network exhibited the highest photocurrents. However, the protection by the TiO2 coatings against chemical corrosion still needs improvement. The one-dimensionality of the nanowires and the large electrolyte-accessible area make these 3D networks promising photoelectrodes, due to the improved transport properties of photogenerated charge carriers and faster redox reactions at the surface. Moreover, they can find further applications in e.g., sensing, catalytical, and piezoelectric devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: etched ion-track membrane; electrodeposition; nanowire network; core-shell nanowires; ZnO; TiO2; photoelectrochemical applications; water splitting etched ion-track membrane; electrodeposition; nanowire network; core-shell nanowires; ZnO; TiO2; photoelectrochemical applications; water splitting
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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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Movsesyan, L.; Maijenburg, A.W.; Goethals, N.; Sigle, W.; Spende, A.; Yang, F.; Kaiser, B.; Jaegermann, W.; Park, S.-Y.; Mul, G.; Trautmann, C.; Toimil-Molares, M.E. ZnO Nanowire Networks as Photoanode Model Systems for Photoelectrochemical Applications. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 693.

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