In this work, wurtzite ZnO nanocrystals with unique "pyramid" morphology were firstly prepared via solvothermal synthesis. It was determined that the ZnO nanopyramids are grown along the polar c-axis with the vertexes pointing to the  direction. When the mixture of ZnO nanopyramids and Au precursor (HAuCl4) was exposed to ultraviolet (UV) illumination, Au particles were site-specifically formed on the vertexes of ZnO nanopyramids. The obtained Au/ZnO nanocomposite showed significantly enhanced photocatalytic activity as compared to the bare ZnO nanopyramids. First-principles based calculations well explained the formation of ZnO nanopyramids as well as the site-specific growth of Au, and revealed that during the photocatalysis process the Au particles can accommodate photoelectrons and thus facilitate the charge separation. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)