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NH4 + directed assembly of zinc oxide micro-tubes from nanoflakes

Weiyi Yang1, Qi Li1*, Shian Gao1 and Jian Ku Shang12

Author Affiliations

1 Materials Center for Water Purification, Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang, 110016, People's Republic of China

2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:491  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-491

Published: 11 August 2011


A simple precipitation process followed with the heat treatment was developed to synthesize ZnO micro-tubes by self-assembly of nanoflakes composed of nanoparticles. The resulting ZnO micro-tubes demonstrated excellent photocatalytic performance in degrading methylene blue (MB) under UV illumination. It was found that NH4+ ion played a critical role in directing the assembly of the nanoflakes to form the micro-tube structure. A critical reaction ratio existed at or above which the ZnO micro-tubes could be obtained. For the mixtures of solutions of (NH4)2CO3 and zinc salt, the ratio () was 2:1.

ZnO micro-tubes; nanoparticles; NH4+ directed growth; self-assembly