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Research Article

Multishelled CuO/Cu2O induced fast photo-vapour generation for drinking water

Xuanbo Chen1,2Ping Li3Jiao Wang2,4Jiawei Wan2,5Nailiang Yang2,5( )Bo Xu6Lianming Tong6Lin Gu5,7Jiang Du4Jianjian Lin3( )Ranbo Yu1( )Dan Wang2,5( )
Department of Physical Chemistry, School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
State Key Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Particle Materials, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Key Laboratory of Eco-chemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, China
Henan Province Industrial Technology Research Institute of Resources and Materials, Green Catalysis Center, College of Chemistry, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Center for Nano-chemistry, Beijing Science and Engineering Center for Nanocarbons, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
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Graphical Abstract

Hollow multishelled structure (HoMS) CuO/Cu2O was introduced into the solar-vapour generation. The porous nano/micro HoMS enhanced light absorption, optimized the thermal regulation and water transport, resulting in a high water evaporation rate, and the heterogeneous semiconductors enhanced the production of reactive oxygen species for water disinfection.


Solar thermal interfacial water evaporation is proposed as a promising route to address freshwater scarcity, which can reduce energy consumption and have unlimited application scenarios. The large semiconductor family with controllable bandgap and good chemo-physical stability are considered as good candidates for photo-evaporation. However, the evaporation rate is not satisfactory because the rational control of nano/micro structure and composition is still in its infancy stage. Herein, by systemically analyzing the photo-thermal evaporation processes, we applied the hollow multishelled structure (HoMS) into this application. Benefiting from the multishelled and hierarchical porous structure, the light absorption, thermal regulation, and water transport are simultaneously optimized, resulting in a water evaporation rate of 3.2 kg·m−2·h−1, which is among the best performance in solar-vapour generation. The collected water from different water resources meets the World Health Organization standard for drinkable water. Interestingly, by using the CuO/Cu2O system, reactive oxygen species were generated for water disinfection, showing a new route for efficient solar-vapour generation and a green way to obtain safe drinking water.

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Nano Research
Pages 4117-4123
Cite this article:
Chen X, Li P, Wang J, et al. Multishelled CuO/Cu2O induced fast photo-vapour generation for drinking water. Nano Research, 2022, 15(5): 4117-4123.






Web of Science






Received: 24 September 2021
Revised: 02 December 2021
Accepted: 09 December 2021
Published: 08 February 2022
© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021