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Piezopotential‐Induced Schottky Behavior of Zn1−xSnO3 Nanowire Arrays and Piezophotocatalytic Applications

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This article presents the piezotronic‐ and piezophototronic effect‐enhanced photocatalysis (piezophotocatalysis) of Zn1−x SnO3 (ZTO) nanowires fabricated through a two‐step hydrothermal reaction. The highlights of this research include (1) tailoring hydrothermal synthesis parameters to obtain well‐aligned LN‐type single‐crystalline ZTO nanowire arrays; (2) exploring the piezopotential‐driven piezotronic and piezophototronic effects of ZTO nanowires; (3) identifying Schottky barrier height variations; and (4) exploiting synergistic piezophotocatalysis for decomposing methylene blue (MB). Transmission electron microscopy, electron probe energy‐dispersive spectroscopy, and X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses reveal highly crystalline Zn‐deficient ZTO nanowires. The band gap is estimated to be approximately 3.8 eV. The ZTO nanowires exhibit piezopotential‐modulated piezotronic and piezophototronic effects. The corresponding Schottky barrier height variation is calculated using thermionic emission‐diffusion theory. The calculated photodegradation rate constant k of the sample, under pressure from ultrasonic vibration and a piece of glass, is approximately 1.5 × 10−2 min−1, approximately four times higher than that of ZTO nanowires in the absence of stress. The observed synergistic piezophotocatalysis is attributed to (1) band bending of ZTO nanowires; (2) application of alternating ultrasonic vibration; (3) MB mass transfer enhancement; and (4) abundant active reaction sites generated from ZTO nanowire surface sweeping.
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Keywords: Schottky barrier height; Zn1−xSnO3 nanowires; hydrothermal synthesis; piezophotocatalysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2016

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