In-situ fabrication of metal oxide nanocaps based on biphasic reactions with surface nanodroplets

Zixiang Wei*, Tulsi Satyavir Dabodiya, Jian Chen, Qiuyun Lu, Jiasheng Qian, Jia Meng, Hongbo Zeng, Hui Qian, Xuehua Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothesis: Surface-bound nanomaterials are widely used in clean energy techniques from solar-driven evaporation in desalination to hydrogen production by photocatalytic electrolysis. Reactive surface nanodroplets may potentially streamline the process of fabrication of a range of surface-bound nanomaterials invoking biphasic reactions at interfaces. Experiments: In this work, we demonstrate the feasibility of reactive surface nanodroplets for in situ synthesis and anchoring of nanocaps of metal oxides with tailored porous structures. Findings: Spatial arrangement and surface coverage of nanocaps are predetermined during the formation of nanodroplets, while the crystalline structures of metal oxides can be controlled by thermal treatment of organometallic nanodroplets produced from the biphasic reactions. Notably, tuning the ratio of reactive and nonreactive components in surface nanodroplets enables the formation of porous nanocaps that can double photocatalytic efficiency in the degradation of organic contaminants in water, compared to smooth nanocaps. In total, we demonstrate in situ fabrication of four types of metal oxides in the shape of nanocaps. Our work shows that reactive surface nanodroplets may open the door to a general, fast and tuneable route for preparing surface-bound materials. This fabrication approach may develop new nanomaterials needed for photocatalytic reactions, wastewater treatment, optical focusing, solar energy conversion and other clean energy techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2235-2245
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of colloid and interface science
Issue numberPart 3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022


  • Metal oxide
  • Nanodroplets
  • Photodegradation
  • Porous materials


Dive into the research topics of 'In-situ fabrication of metal oxide nanocaps based on biphasic reactions with surface nanodroplets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this