Sonochemical synthesis of 0D, 1D, and 2D zinc oxide nanostructures in ionic liquids and their photocatalytic activity.

PMID 22162406


Ultrasound synthesis of zinc oxide from zinc acetate and sodium hydroxide in ionic liquids (ILs) is a fast, facile, and effective, yet highly morphology- and size-selective route to zinc oxide nanostructures of various dimensionalities. No additional organic solvents, water, surfactants, or templating agents are required. Depending on the synthetic conditions, the selective manufacturing of 0D, 1D, and 2D ZnO nanostructures is possible: Whereas the formation of rodlike structures is typically favored, ZnO nanoparticles can be obtained either under strongly basic conditions or by use of ILs with a long alkyl chain, such as 1-n-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide ([C(n)mim][Tf(2)N]; n>8). A short ultrasound irradiation time favors the formation of ZnO nanosheets. Prolonged irradiation leads to the conversion of the ZnO nanosheets into nanorods. In contrast, ionothermal synthesis (conventional heating) does not allow for morphology tuning by variation of the IL or other synthesis conditions, as the longer reaction times required lead always to the formation of well-developed hexagonal nanocrystals with prismatic tips. The ZnO nanostructures synthesized by using ultrasound were efficient photocatalysts in the photodegradation of methyl orange. The photoactivity was observed to be as high as 95 % for ZnO nanoparticles obtained in [C(10)mim][Tf(2)N].