Ag2S and Ag are important functional materials that have received considerable research interest in recent years. In this work, we develop a solution-based synthetic method to combine these two materials into hollow/solid Ag2S/Ag heterodimers at room temperature. Starting from monodisperse Cu2O solid spheres, CuS hollow spheres can be converted from Cu2O through a modified Kirkendall process, and the obtained CuS can then be used as a solid precursor for preparation of the Ag2S/Ag heterodimers through ion exchange and photo-assisted reduction. We have found that formation of the Ag2S/Ag heterodimers is instantaneous, and the size of Ag nanocrystals on the hollow spheres of Ag2S can be controlled by changing the concentration and power of reducing agents in the synthesis. The growth of Ag nanoparticles on hollow spheres of Ag2S in the dimers is along the  direction of the silver crystal; the light absorption properties have also been investigated. Furthermore, coupling or tripling of Ag2S/Ag heterodimers into dumbbell-like trimers ((Ag 2S)2/Ag, linear) and triangular tetramers ((Ag 2S)3/Ag, coplanar) can also be attained at 60°C by adding the bidentate ligand ethylenediamine as a cross-linking agent. To test the applicability of this highly asymmetric dipolar composite, photocatalytic inactivation of Escherichia coli K-12 in the presence of the as-prepared Ag 2S/Ag heterodimers has been carried out under UV irradiation. The added Ag2S/Ag heterodimers show good chemical stability under prolonged UV irradiation, and no appreciable solid dissolution is found. Possible mechanisms regarding the enhanced antibacterial activity have also been addressed. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry