Bao-Lian Su

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (207)801.26 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hollow Cu2O microspheres (0.7 to 4 μm in diameter) with two active {111} and {110} facets have been prepared in water/ethylene glycol solution via a fast hydrothermal route in only 1 h. Due to the dangling “Cu” atoms in the highly active {111} and {110} facets, the microspheres demonstrate preferential selective adsorption and photodegradation for negatively charged methyl orange (MO), comparing to cationic rhodamine B (RhB) and neutral phenol. The 0.7 μm hollow Cu2O microspheres demonstrate the best adsorption capacity and photodegradation performance for MO removal: 49% MO can be adsorbed in 60 min and 99.8% MO can be fully removed under visible light illumination in 80 min, owing to the two active {110} and {111} facets and hollow structure. To exactly evaluate the photocatalytic efficiency, a new methodology is proposed by deducting the adsorption effect. The results show that in spite of 99.2% MO is removed from the solution under visible light illumination in 60 min, 14% MO is still adsorbed on the catalyst, which can be totally removed under further 20 min illumination. Our synthesis strategy presents a new opportunity for the preparation of hollow structures with high active facets. And the proposed accurate evaluation methodology may be extended to other photocatalysts with high adsorption capability for organic pollutants.
    RSC Advances 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5RA06083D · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Living organisms can produce elegant structures with unique functions and properties through biological processes. Various proteins are involved in these processes. Inspired by structure formation of mollusc shells, a single multifunctional recombinant protein ChiCaSifi was designed on the basis of mineralization proteins for regulating CaCO3 mineralization in a simple and direct manner. The ChiCaSifi contains functional domains of chitin binding protein (Chi), calcium binding protein (Ca), and silk fibroin (Sifi). Therefore, ChiCaSifi can have multiple roles in directing CaCO3 mineralization. Overexpression and purification of ChiCaSifi were achieved. Activities of ChiCaSifi were examined on binding to calcium and chitin. Influences of ChiCaSifi were proved on regulating the phase formation of CaCO3 crystals on chitin surface. Structural changes of ChiCaSifi were evidenced and related to its functions on mineralization. These observations indicate that rational designed proteins with functional domains from mineralization proteins can be effective tools in materials synthesis. The present study may not only provide insight into the formation of natural biomaterials, but also open a new avenue in the design and synthesis of novel organic/inorganic composite materials.
    06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5TB00650C
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    ABSTRACT: Taking lessons from the structure-forming process of biominerals in animals and plants, one can find tremendous inspirations and ideas for developing advanced synthesis techniques, which is called bio-process inspired synthesis. Bone, as a typical representative of biominerals, is constituted of mineralized collagen fibrils, which are formed under the functions of non-collagenous proteins (NCPs). Intrafibrillar mineralization is the consequence of a synergy among several NCPs. In the present study, we have designed a multi-functional protein, named (MBP)–BSP–HAP, based on bone sialoprotein (BSP) and hydroxyapatite binding protein (HAP), to mimic the intrafibrillar mineralization process in vitro. The three functional domains of (MBP)–BSP–HAP provide the artificial protein with multiple designated functions for intrafibrillar mineralization including binding calcium ions, binding collagen, and binding hydroxyapatite. Platelet-like hydroxyapatite crystals periodically arranged inside the collagen fibrils have been achieved under the function of (MBP)–BSP–HAP. The mechanism of intrafibrillar mineralization directed by the multi-functional protein was proposed. This work may not only shed light on bio-process inspired approaches for more economic and efficient biomimetic synthesis, but also be helpful in understanding the natural process of bone formation for bone regeneration and tissue repair.
    05/2015; 3(22). DOI:10.1039/C5TB00386E
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    ABSTRACT: Mesoporous oxides TiO2 and ZrO2, synthesized by surfactant templating via a neutral C13(EO)6–Zr(OC3H7)4 assembly pathway, and ceria-modified TiO2 and ZrO2, prepared by a deposition–precipitation (DP) method, featuring high surface areas and uniform pore size distributions were used as supports for gold catalysts. The supported gold catalysts were assessed for the catalytic abatement of air pollutants, i.e., CO, CH3OH, and (CH3)2O. The gold was supported on the mesoporous oxides by a DP method. The supports and catalysts were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, N2 adsorption–desorption analysis, and temperature-programmed reduction technique. A high degree of synergistic interaction between ceria and mesoporous ZrO2 and TiO2 as well as a positive modification of the structural and catalytic properties by ceria was observed. The ceria additive interacts with the mesoporous oxides and induces a strong effect on the reducibility of the supports. The catalytic behavior of the catalysts was discussed to determine the role of the ceria modifying additive and possible interaction between the gold nanoparticles and ceria-mesoporous oxide supports. The gold catalysts supported on ceria-modified mesoporous ZrO2 displayed superior catalytic activity (∼100% conversion of CO at 10 °C and CH3OH at 60 °C). The high catalytic activity can be attributed to the ability of the support to assist oxygen vacancies formation. The studies indicate that the ceria-modified mesoporous oxide supports have potential as supports for gold-based catalysts.
    Chinese Journal of Catalysis 04/2015; 36(4). DOI:10.1016/S1872-2067(14)60283-7 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding molecular mechanisms of interactions between nanoparticles and bacteria is important and essential to develop nanotechnology for medical and environmental applications. Quantum dots (QDs) are specific nanoparticles with unique optical properties and high photochemical stability. In the present study, direct interactions were observed between cationic QDs and bacteria. Distinct fluorescence quenching patterns were developed when cationic QDs interacted with Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria. The aggregation of QDs on bacterial surface as well as fluorescence quenching depends upon the chemical composition and structure of the bacterial cell envelopes. The presence of lipopolysaccharide is unique to Gram-negative bacterial surface and provides negatively charge areas for absorbing cationic QDs. The effects of lipopolysaccharide were proved on fluorescence quenching of cationic QDs. In contrast to Gram-negative bacteria, the presence of teichoic acids is unique to Gram-positive bacterial cell wall and provides negatively charged sites for cationic QDs along the chain of teichoic-acid molecules, which may protect QDs from aggregation and fluorescence quenching. This study may not only provide insight into behaviors of QDs on bacterial cell surfaces but also open a new avenue for designing and applying QDs as biosensors in microbiology, medicine, and environmental science. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 03/2015; 450:388-395. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2015.03.041 · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two types of hierarchical mesoporous urchin-like Mn3O4/carbon microspheres (HM-MO/C-MS) have been prepared via the in situ carbonization of the newly synthesized lamellar manganese alkoxide (Mn-DEG) along with the crystallization of Mn3O4 in air (MO-A) and nitrogen (MO-N), respectively. Such unique HM-MO/C-MS with high surface area provides obvious advantages including a large contact area with electrolyte, a short transport path for Li+ ions, a low resistance for charge transfer, and a superior structural stability. When used as an anode material for lithium ion batteries in the voltage range of 0.01-3 V, the HM-MO/C-MS obtained in nitrogen (MO-N) exhibits high lithium storage capacity (915 mA h g−1 at 100 mA g−1 for 50 cycles), great cycling stability (94.5% capacity retention versus the second cycle) and excellent rate capability (510 mA h g−1 at 1000 mA g−1). In particular, when cycling at a high current density of 1500 mA g−1, the reversible capacity of the MO-N sample can still be maintained as high as 480 mA h g−1 with a high capacity retention of 93.7% after 200 cycles. Even in a narrower voltage range of 0.01-1.5 V, the lithium storage capacity of the MO-N sample can reach 556 mA h g−1 at 100 mA g−1 with a very good cycling stability (over 91% capacity retention from the second cycle) and have an excellent rate capability of 269 mA h g−1 at 1000 mA g−1. Both MO-N and MO-A samples present a very high volumetric capacity of 741.2 mA h cm−3 and 647.4 mA h cm−3 at 100 mA g−1, respectively. Such high performances both in the voltage ranges of 0.01-3 V and 0.01-1.5 V are among the highest reported. Ex-situ SEM images showed clearly the excellent morphological and structural stability of our materials. The results demonstrate that the unique hierarchical mesoporous microspheres/carbon structure is favorable for improving the cyclability and rate capability in energy storage applications. Our effective synthesis strategy can be broadened to construct other mesoporous metal oxides/carbon composites for high-performance lithium ion batteries.
    Nano Energy 03/2015; 12:833-844. DOI:10.1016/j.nanoen.2015.01.040 · 10.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An efficient one-step process to synthesize highly porous (Ca-alginate-SiO2-polycation) shell: (Na-alginate-SiO2) core hybrid beads for cell encapsulation, yielding a reusable long-life photosynthetically active material for a sustainable manufacture of high-value metabolites is presented. Bead formation is based on crosslinking of an alginate biopolymer and mineralisation of silicic acid in combination with a coacervation process between a polycation and the silica sol, forming a semi-permeable external membrane. The excellent mechanical strength and durability of the monodispersed beads and the control of their porosity and textural properties is achieved by tailoring the silica and alginate loading, polycation concentration and incubation time during coacervation. This process has led to the formation of a remarkably robust hybrid material that confers exceptional protection to live cells against sheer stresses and contamination in a diverse range of applications. Dunaliella tertiolecta encapsulated within this hybrid core-shell system display high photosynthetic activity over a long duration (>1year). This sustainable biotechnology could find use in high value chemical harvests and biofuel cells to photosynthetic solar cells (energy transformation, electricity production, water splitting technologies). Furthermore the material can be engineered into various forms from spheres to variable thickness films, broadening its potential applications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 02/2015; 448C. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2015.01.091 · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A very promising and facile one-pot synthesis pathway is presented for the microencapsulation of live cells in a very porous core-shell system based upon a robust matrix. (Alginate-SiO2-polycation) shell @ (Alginate-SiO2) core hybrid beads, on the millimeter scale, containing live cells are obtained through cross-linking chemistry and the polycondensation of silicic acid in conjunction with the use of a polycation to negate the surface charge on silica. Very interestingly it is revealed that the polycation used (PDADMAC) plays a very important role in the formation of highly robust core-shell beads. The PDADMAC acts as a catalyst in the polycondensation of silicic acid, leading to the formation of a resistant double layer shell comprising of an interior layer of alginate-SiO2 with a very homogeneous distribution of porous SiO2 and an external layer of porous PDADMAC that confines the SiO2 within the bead. The photosynthetic chlorophyta Dunaliella tertiolecta, which produces high value metabolites (such as anti-oxidants, pharmacologically active compounds, neutraceuticals etc.) via photosynthesis, has been encapsulated within this core-shell system. Oximetry and fluorescence measurements highlight how this algal culture can remain photosynthetically active over an extraordinarily long period of 13 months for high value compound production, whilst entrapped within a highly porous, mechanically and chemically stable, optically transparent matrix, with no observable leaching of the cells from the core of the beads. HPLC has been employed to highlight the presence of excreted metabolites, based on neutral sugar building blocks such as arabinose, galactose and xylose, in the surrounding media. These results reveal how this kind of highly performant, low-cost, and easily scale-upable core-shell living material could be employed in large scale photobioreactors (PBR), to potentially facilitate metabolite harvesting whilst protecting the culture from external contamination and for green energy production and environmental (CO2) remediation.
    09/2014; DOI:10.1039/C4TA04659E
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    ABSTRACT: Highly monodispersed platinum-based nanoalloys are the best-known catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. Although certainly promising, the durability and stability are among the main requirements for commercializing fuel cell electrocatalysts in practical applications. Herein, we synthesize highly stable, durable and catalytic active monodispersed PtPd nanoparticles encapsulated in a unique one particle@one cell structure by adjusting the viscosity of solvents using mesocellular foam. PtPd nanoparticles in mesocellular carbon foam exhibit an excellent electrocatalytic activity (over 4 times mass and specific activities than the commercial Pt/C catalyst). Most importantly, this nanocatalyst shows no obvious change of structure and only a 29.5% loss in electrochemically active surface area after 5000 potential sweeps between 0.6 and 1.1 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode cycles.
    Nano Energy 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.nanoen.2014.06.010 · 10.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Well shaped single crystalline Mn3O4 nano-octahedra with exposed highly active {011} facets at different particle sizes have been synthesized and used as anode materials for lithium ion batteries. The electrochemical results show that the smallest sized Mn3O4 nano-octahedra show the best cycling performance with a high initial charge capacity of 907 mA h g(-1) and a 50th charge capacity of 500 mA h g(-1) at a current density of 50 mA g(-1) and the best rate capability with a charge capacity of 350 mA h g(-1) when cycled at 500 mA g(-1). In particular, the nano-octahedra samples demonstrate a much better electrochemical performance in comparison with irregular shaped Mn3O4 nanoparticles. The best electrochemical properties of the smallest Mn3O4 nano-octahedra are ascribed to the lower charge transfer resistance due to the exposed highly active {011} facets, which can facilitate the conversion reaction of Mn3O4 and Li owing to the alternating Mn and O atom layers, resulting in easy formation and decomposition of the amorphous Li2O and the multi-electron reaction. On the other hand, the best electrochemical properties of the smallest Mn3O4 nano-octahedra can also be attributed to the smallest size resulting in the highest specific surface area, which provides maximum contact with the electrolyte and facilitates the rapid Li-ion diffusion at the electrode/electrolyte interface and fast lithium-ion transportation within the particles. The synergy of the exposed {011} facets and the smallest size (and/or the highest surface area) led to the best performance for the Mn3O4 nano-octahedra. Furthermore, HRTEM observations verify the oxidation of MnO to Mn3O4 during the charging process and confirm that the Mn3O4 octahedral structure can still be partly maintained after 50 discharge-charge cycles. The high Li-ion storage capacity and excellent cycling performance suggest that Mn3O4 nano-octahedra with exposed highly active {011} facets could be excellent anode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.
    Nanoscale 05/2014; 6(12). DOI:10.1039/c4nr01389a · 6.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural photonic structures found on the cuticle of insects are known to give rise to astonishing structural colours. These ordered porous structures are made of biopolymers, such as chitin, and some of them possess the property to change colour according to the surrounding atmosphere composition. This phenomenon is still not completely understood. We investigated the structure found on the cuticle of the male beetle Hoplia coerulea (Scarabaeidae). The structure, in this case, consists in a 1D periodic porous multilayer inside scales, reflecting incident light in the blue. The colour variations were quantified by reflectance spectral measurements using water, ethanol and acetone vapours. A 1D scattering matrix formalism was used for modelling light reflection on the photonic multilayer. The origin of the reported colour changes has to be tracked in variations of the effective refractive index and of the photonic structure dimensions. This remarkable phenomenon observed for a non-open but still porous multilayer could be very interesting for vapour sensing applications and smart glass windows.
    Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 05/2014; 9127(91270U):1-9. DOI:10.1117/12.2050409 · 0.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As anode materials for lithium ion batteries, two three dimensionally ordered macroporous TiO2, one with disordered inter-particle mesopores formed by the aggregation of nanoparticles (3DOM) and another with inner-particle mesopores generated by a surfactant templating strategy (3DOMM), have been synthesized using poly(styrene-methyl methacrylate-3-sulfopropyl methacrylate potassium) (P(St-MMA-SPMAP)) spheres as a hard template and their electrochemical properties are compared. SEM and TEM observations reveal that both 3DOM TiO2 and 3DOMM TiO2 have well-ordered macropores and interconnected macropore walls with a regular periodicity. 3DOMM TiO2 demonstrates a specific surface area of 139 m2 g�1, which is higher than that of 3DOM TiO2 (99 m2 g�1) due to the smaller crystallite size and inner-particle mesopores. The electrolyte adsorption results show that both 3DOM TiO2 and 3DOMM TiO2 have similar adsorption capacities despite a difference in the surface area. Electrochemical impendence spectroscopy analysis shows that 3DOMM TiO2 has a lower charge transfer resistance and faster Li+ diffusion coefficient than 3DOM TiO2. Moreover, both 3DOM TiO2 and 3DOMM TiO2 possess excellent initial capacity of 248 mA h g�1 and 235 mA h g�1 at 0.2 C and 208 mA h g�1 and 202 mA h g�1 at 1 C, respectively. The reversibility study demonstrates that the 3DOMM TiO2 displays higher cycling capacity, superior rate behavior and higher Coulombic efficiency because the higher surface area provides more active sites and the presence of the inner-particle mesopores in the walls of macropores serve as a bicontinuous transport path and affords a shorter path length for diffusion of Li ions compared with the 3DOM TiO2 and its crystallite aggregated mesopores. The reversible capacity of 106 mA h g�1 observed for the 3DOMM TiO2 can be retained after 200 charge–discharge cycles at a relatively high current rate of 4 C. This cycle stability performance can be equally attributed to the crystallite size and inner-particle mesopores in the 3DOMM TiO2. Moreover, the existence of a bicontinuous porous structure in the 3DOMM TiO2 can further enhance the lithium insertion/extraction capacity at high rates. We believe that this study can shed light on the 3DOMM structure as a promising material for highly enhanced performance in lithium ion batteries.
    Journal of Materials Chemistry A 05/2014; 2(25):9699. DOI:10.1039/c4ta01775g · 7.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The continuous titania inverse opal (TiO2-IO) films have been prepared by sol–gel infiltration method and calcined at different temperatures. The morphologies of the TiO2 inverse opal films remain unchanged under high temperature treatment. XRD patterns reveal an anatase crystalline phase between 550 and 900 °C and a mixture of anatase and rutile phase at 1000 °C. Comparing with the mesoporous TiO2 films obtained under the same conditions, all the TiO2 inverse opal films demonstrate a highly enhanced photocatalytic activity in photodegradation of rhodamine B (RhB) as dye pollutant model in aqueous solution. In spite of the fact that the TiO2 inverse opal films with open macroporous structures and possible light scattering effect of the wavelengths can result in the higher photocatalytic activity in the degradation of the dye pollutant, the phenomenon of the slow photon occurring in the TiO2 inverse opal photonic crystals can explain the extraordinary enhancement of the photocatalytic activity. In consequence, the TiO2-IO-700, TiO2-IO-550 and TiO2-IO-800 films show the best photocatalytic performance mainly due to the slow photon effect at the light incident angle at 0°, 20° and 45°, respectively, a direct proof of light absorption enhancement due to the slow photon effect. The slow photon effect in TiO2 inverse opals to enhance light absorption and further to enhance photocatalysis is very important for further potential applications in solar cells and other processes linked to the light absorption.
    Applied Catalysis B Environmental 05/2014; s 150–151:411–420. DOI:10.1016/j.apcatb.2013.12.037 · 6.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hierarchical and porous V2O5 microspheres have been fabricated by a refluxing approach followed by annealing in air. The resulting porous V2O5 microspheres typically have diameters of 3–6 μm and are constructed of intertwined laminar nanocrystals or crosslinked nanobricks. It is found that the vanadyl glycolates rinsed with water have pronounced pore structures than that rinsed with ethanol alone. In addition, the configuration of the vanadyl glycolates microspheres can be tuned during the refluxing along with stirring. The possible formation processes of the vanadyl glycolates and V2O5 products have been discussed based on the experimental data. Electrochemical tests indicate that the hierarchical and porous V2O5 microspheres exhibit relatively high and stable Li+ storage properties. The porous V2O5 microspheres assembled by intertwined nanoparticles maintain reversible Li+ storage capacities of 102 and 80 mAh g−1, respectively; whilst the porous V2O5 microspheres assembled by crosslinked nanobricks maintain reversible Li+ storage capacities of 100 and 85 mAh g−1 over 100 cycles at current rates of 0.5 and 1 C, respectively. The superior Li+ storage performance of the hierarchical and porous V2O5 microspheres could mainly be ascribed to the improved electrode/electrolyte interface, reduced Li+ diffusion paths, and relieved volume variation during lithiation and delithiation processes.
    Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 03/2014; 418:74–80. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2013.12.011 · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FePt nanoparticles (NPs)/reduced graphene oxide (rG-O) composites have been synthesized using a one-pot strategy without surfactants. Monodisperse FePt NPs were homogenously loaded onto rG-O sheets. By controlling the concentration of dispersed graphene oxide (GO), uniform FePt flower-like nanoclusters can be obtained. FePt/rG-O composites exhibited exceptionally high electrocatalytic performance in the activity and durability for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), much superior to that of the commercial Pt/C (60%). The straightforward synthesis of FePt/rG-O composites provides a low-cost and high performance catalyst for the ORR, which is also a promising strategy for the synthesis of various Pt-based bimetallic alloy/rG-O composites for potential uses in catalysis and energy fields.
    Carbon 03/2014; 68:755-762. DOI:10.1016/j.carbon.2013.11.064 · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Porous anatase TiO2 spheres have been synthesized by a microwave-assisted hydrothermal reaction of spherical particle precursors followed by annealing in air. The synthesized TiO2 spheres are formed by interconnected nanocrystals with size of 8.7 nm in average and have grain diameters of 250–400 nm. After annealing at 500 °C, the TiO2 samples maintain spherical shape and develop highly mesoporous characteristics with a specific surface area of 151 m2 g−1. The TiO2 samples annealed at 750 °C consist of larger aggregated particles with diameters of 500–900 nm and still retain mesoporous anatase structure, but with a reduced specific surface area of 25.6 m2 g−1. Electrochemical studies reveal that the porous TiO2 spheres annealed at 500 °C own very high and stable lithium ion (Li+) storage capacities of 207, 184, 166, and 119 mA h g−1 at 0.5, 1, 2, and 5 C (850 mA g−1) rates, respectively, owing to their highly porous nanostructures and fine spherical morphology. In contrast, the TiO2 spheres annealed at 700 °C exhibit modest electrochemical performance due to their reduced pore structures and larger crystallite size. The prepared porous TiO2 spherical particles show great promise for use as high performance anode materials for lithium ion batteries (LIBs).
    Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 03/2014; 417:144–151. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2013.11.035 · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly ordered, dense and continuous ZnO inverse opal (ZnO-IO) films with different air sphere sizes have been successfully prepared by a metal salt-based sol–gel infiltration method and used to prove and demonstrate the slow photon effect occurrence to enhance the photocatalytic activity. The obtained ZnO-IO films have a pure wurzite structure with similar crystallite size according to the XRD experiments and show very ordered macroporous structures from SEM and TEM analyses. The ZnO-IO films present a photoinduced surface wettability conversion phenomenon and the wettability of the ZnO film can be tuned from superhydrophobicity to hydrophilicity after UV-vis irradiation. Compared with the ZnO film without inverse opal structure, both ZnO-IO films demonstrate highly enhanced photocatalytic activities due to the hierarchically macro–mesoporous structure and particularly the slow photon enhanced light absorption. The synergy of the slow photon effect and hierarchically porous structure of inverse opal itself results in the highest photocatalytic activity at an incident light angle of θ = 40°. Moreover, our results suggest that the slow photon effect occurring at the red edge of PBG exhibits a higher photocatalytic reaction rate than that at the blue edge of PBG. The extraordinary enhancement of the photocatalytic activity via changing the incident light angle reveals that the slow photon effect does take place and further dramatically enhance the photocatalytic activity of ZnO-IO films. This work may open an exciting door to all the fields related to light absorption, such as solar cells, and optical and electro-optical devices.
    Journal of Materials Chemistry 01/2014; 2(14). DOI:10.1039/C3TA15044E · 7.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, a novel class of mesoporous ZnO/SiO2 mixed composites was prepared from different amounts of zinc oxide nanoparticles, tetraethyl orthosilicate and a structure directing agent. An interesting transition in the morphology has been observed when increasing the nanoparticles loading. Silicon nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopy were employed to prove the presence of Zn–O–Si bonds and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy revealed a good dispersion of zinc in all materials. All the materials were tested for the photodegradation of Rhodamine B with good results, the best catalysts being represented by the composites containing 10 and 20 wt% nanoparticle loading. Both catalysts display a higher turnover number than unstructured ZnO nanoparticles and commercial ZnO nanopowder.
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 01/2014; 184:90–96. DOI:10.1016/j.micromeso.2013.09.040 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design, preparation and application of novel hierarchically interconnected micro-meso-macroporous solid-acid catalysts constructed from zeolite nanocrystals via a chemically crystallization process in a quasi solid state system using glycerin medium have been described. These hierarchical solid-acid catalysts possess well-defined macrochannels and interconnected mesopores in the walls which have been constructed from various zeolite microporous units including Zr-silicalite-1, ZSM-5 and Beta nanocrystals, respectively. Meanwhile, the hierarchically micro-, meso-, macro-pore systems are homogeneously distributed throughout the final catalysts. The quasi solid state chemically crystallization processes to generate hierarchical solid-acid catalysts have been investigated in detail. Different hierarchical solidacid catalysts with microporous MFI or Beta architectures can be obtained by varying crystallization conditions. The resultant hierarchically micro-meso-macroporous solid-acid catalysts show strong acidities and superior catalytic properties for esterification reaction of high free fatty acid (FFA) oils. The hierarchical zeolitic materials with micro-meso-macroporous structure should be advantageous candidates for the application in solid-acid catalysis.
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 12/2013; 182:122-135. DOI:10.1016/j.micromeso.2013.08.034 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The photonic effect on the photocatalytic activity of the continuous titania inverse opal (TiO2-IO) films differing only by the air sphere size (185 and 165 nm) and prepared by a colloid crystal template approach and annealing at different temperatures (700 and 800 °C) has been investigated by aqueous solution degradation of dye pollutants using mesoporous TiO2 thin films as the reference. The high quality of TiO2 inverse opal films has been confirmed by a blue shift of the Photonic Band Gap (PBG) with increasing light incident angle. Excellent agreement was found between theoretical and experimental reflectance spectra, confirming the photonic crystal structure of the samples. The slow photon light absorption enhancement effect inducing highly improved photocatalytic degradation of dye pollutants has been revealed in an aqueous reaction system. When compared with the mesoporous (m-TiO2) films obtained under the same conditions, all the TiO2-IO films demonstrate a much higher photocatalytic activity. At a light incident angle of 0°, the TiO2-IO-700 film (air sphere size: 185 nm) showed a better photocatalytic activity than that of TIO2-IO-800 (air sphere size: 165 nm). Most importantly, with increasing light incident angle, the photocatalytic activity of the TiO2-IO-700 film decreases whilst that of the TiO2-IO-800 film increases sharply due to the enhancement of light absorption related to a slow photon effect, generating more electron-holes. The present work revealed that photocatalytic activity can be dramatically enhanced by utilizing slow photons located at the PBG edges with energies close to the electronic bandgap of the semiconductor. The study using the slow-photon effect on the basis of photonic crystals to improve the photocatalytic activity by enhancing the light absorption could be an important future research direction. The slow-photon effect can open a new exciting avenue to all the fields related to light absorption including solar cells, optical telecommunications and optical computing.
    Journal of Materials Chemistry 10/2013; 1(48):15491. DOI:10.1039/C3TA13574H · 7.44 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
801.26 Total Impact Points


  • 2012–2015
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Chemistry
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2015
    • University of Namur
      • Department of Biology
      Namen, Walloon, Belgium
  • 2009–2014
    • Wuhan University of Technology
      • State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
      • Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics
      Peping, Beijing, China
  • 2003–2011
    • Notre Dame de Namur University
      Indiana, United States
  • 2008
    • Hubei University
      Wu-han-shih, Hubei, China
  • 2007
    • University of California, Davis
      Davis, California, United States
    • University of Liège
      Luik, Walloon, Belgium
  • 2006
    • Nankai University
      T’ien-ching-shih, Tianjin Shi, China
  • 2004–2006
    • International Species Information System
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Antwerp
      Antwerpen, Flemish, Belgium