Rapid construction of ZnO@ZIF-8 heterostructures with size-selecteive photocatalysis properties

Xianbiao Wang, Jin Liu, Soo Kwan Leong, Xiaocheng Lin, Jing Wei, Biao Kong, Yongfei Xu, Ze Xian Low, Jianfeng Yao, Huanting Wang

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317 Citations (Scopus)


To selectively remove heavy metal from dye solution, inspired by the unique pore structure of ZIF-8, we developed a synthetic strategy for rapid construction of ZnO@ZIF-8 heterostructure photocatalyst for selective reduction of Cr(VI) between Cr(VI) and methylene blue (MB). In particular, ZnO@ZIF-8 core–shell heterostructures were prepared by in situ ZIF-8 crystal growth using ZnO colloidal spheres as template and zinc source within 8–60 min. The shell of the resulting ZnO@ZIF-8 core–shell heterostructure with a uniform thickness of around 30 nm is composed of ZIF-8 crystal polyhedrons. The concentration of organic ligand 2-methylimidazole (Hmim) was found to be crucial for the formation of ZnO@ZIF-8 core–shell heterostructures. Different structures, ZnO@ZIF-8 core–shell spheres and separate ZIF-8 polyhedrons could be formed by altering Hmim concentration, which significantly influences the balance between rate of Zn2+ release from ZnO and coordinate rate. Importantly, such ZnO@ZIF-8 core–shell heterostructures exhibit size-selective photocatalysis properties due to selective adsorption and permeation effect of ZIF-8 shell. The as-synthesized ZnO@ZIF-8 heterostructures exhibited enhanced selective reduction of Cr(VI) between Cr(VI) and MB, which may find application in the dye industry. This work not only provides a general route for rapid fabrication of such core–shell heterostructures but also illustrates a strategy for selectively enhanced photocatalysis performance by utilizing adsorption and size selectivity of ZIF-8 shell.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9080 - 9087
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016


  • Rapid construction
  • ZnO@ZIF-8
  • Heterostructure
  • Size-selective
  • Photocatalysis

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