Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are recognized as hazardous contributors to air pollution, precursors of multiple secondary byproducts, troposphere aerosols, and recognized contributors to respiratory and cancer-related issues in highly populated areas. Moreover, VOCs present in indoor environments represent a challenging issue that need to be addressed due to its increasing presence in nowadays society. Catalytic oxidation by noble metals represents the most effective but costly solution. The use of photocatalytic oxidation has become one of the most explored alternatives given the green and sustainable advantages of using solar light or low-consumption light emitting devices. Herein, we have tried to address the shortcomings of the most studied photocatalytic systems based on titania (TiO2) with limited response in the UV-range or alternatively the high recombination rates detected in other transition metal-based oxide systems. We have developed a silver-copper oxide heteronanostructure able to combine the plasmonic-enhanced properties of Ag nanostructures with the visible-light driven photoresponse of CuO nanoarchitectures. The entangled Ag-CuO heteronanostructure exhibits a broad absorption towards the visible-near infrared (NIR) range and achieves total photo-oxidation of n-hexane under irradiation with different light-emitting diodes (LEDs) specific wavelengths at temperatures below 180 °C and outperforming its thermal catalytic response or its silver-free CuO illuminated counterpart.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was funded by ARCADIA (grant CTQ2016-77147) and CADENCE (grant 742684) and the APC was waived by the journal.The TEM measurements were conducted at the Laboratorio de Microscopias Avanzadas, Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragon, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain. Fundacion Carolina is acknowledged for funding of a scholarship for H.S. The synthesis of materials has been performed by the Platform of Production of Biomaterials and Nanoparticles of the NANOBIOSIS ICTS, more specifically by the Nanoparticle Synthesis Unit of the CIBER in BioEngineering, Biomaterials & Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN).