Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Nano Express

Rapid large-scale preparation of ZnO nanowires for photocatalytic application

Chunyu Ma1, Zhihua Zhou12, Hao Wei1, Zhi Yang1, Zhiming Wang2 and Yafei Zhang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of Ministry of Education, Research Institute of Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Film and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:536  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-536

Published: 3 October 2011


ZnO nanowires are a promising nanomaterial for applications in the fields of photocatalysis, nano-optoelectronics, and reinforced composite materials. However, the challenge of producing large-scale ZnO nanowires has stunted the development and practical utilization of ZnO nanowires. In this study, a modified carbothermal reduction method for preparing large-scale ZnO nanowires in less than 5 min is reported. The preparation was performed in a quartz tube furnace at atmospheric pressure without using any catalysts. A mixed gas of air and N2 with a volume ratio of 45:1 was used as the reactive and carrier gas. About 0.8 g ZnO nanowires was obtained using 1 g ZnO and 1 g graphite powder as source materials. The obtained nanowires exhibited a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure with an average diameter of about 33 nm. Good photocatalytic activity of the nanowires toward the photodegradation of methylene blue dye under UV irradiation was also demonstrated.