High quality CuS and CuS/ZnS core/shell nanocrystals (NCs) were synthesized in a large quantity using a facile hydrothermal method at low temperatures of 60 C and evaluated in the photodegradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) under visible light irradiation. Synthesis time plays an important role in controlling the morphology, size and photocatalytic activity of both CuS and CuS/ZnS core/shell NCs which evolve from spherical shaped particles to form rods with increasing reaction time, and after 5 h resemble "flower" shaped morphologies in which each "flower" is composed of many NCs. Photocatalytic activity originates from photo-generated holes in the narrow bandgap CuS, with encapsulation by large bandgap ZnS layers used to form the core/shell structure that improves the resistance of CuS towards photocorrosion. Such CuS/ZnS core/shell structures exhibit much higher photocatalytic activity than CuS or ZnS NCs alone under visible light illumination, and is attributed to higher charge separation rates for the photo-generated carriers in the core/shell structure. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Bibliographical noteFunding: EU-FP7 NMP.2012.2.2-6 program.
Supplementary data: available online
- CuS/ZnS core/shell nanocrystals
- hydrothermal synthesis
- photocatalytic activity
- water depollution