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Physical Confinement Promoting Formation of Cu2O–Au Heterostructures with Au Nanoparticles Entrapped within Crystalline Cu2O Nanorods

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, United States
Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, United States
§ School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, United States
School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, United States
Cite this: Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 2, 555–563
Publication Date (Web):December 16, 2016
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03653
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Building on the application of cuprite (Cu2O) in solar energy technologies and reports of increased optical absorption caused by metal-to-semiconductor energy transfer, a confinement-based strategy was developed to fabricate high aspect ratio, crystalline Cu2O nanorods containing entrapped gold nanoparticles (Au nps). Cu2O was crystallized within the confines of track-etch membrane pores, where this physical, assembly based method eliminates the necessity of specific chemical interactions to achieve a well-defined metal–semiconductor interface. With high-resolution scanning/transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM) and tomography, we demonstrate the encasement of the majority of Au nps by crystalline Cu2O and show crystalline Cu2O–Au interfaces that are free of extended amorphous regions. Such nanocrystal heterostructures are good candidates for studying the transport physics of metal/semiconductor hybrids for optoelectronic applications.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03653.

    • Supplemental TEM and SAED images (PDF)

    • STEM tomographic reconstruction of an individual Cu2O–Au nanorod to probe the entire 3D structure (AVI)

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