Design of Hierarchal 3D Metal Oxide Structures for Water Oxidation and Purification Academic Article uri icon


  • Given their unique properties, tremendous progress is realized in the use of nanostructured materials for various applications. However, their incorporation and fabrication into prototypic devices remain challenging due to their limited ability to form hierarchical 3D structures through the use of large scale, low cost, and facile processes. Herein, this challenge is addressed and the growth of unique hierarchical structures is demonstrated by coating calcareous foraminiferal shells with metal oxide materials via simple and inexpensive processes conducted on a large scale. Foraminifera are highly diverse and abundant marine unicellular protists surrounded by large, ranging from 0.1 mm to more than 200 mm in size, identical porous, and complex hierarchical shells. In the present study, these hierarchal structures are investigated in electrochemical water oxidation reactions and tested in terms of their ability to purify water from inorganic (metal ions) contaminates. The remarkable performances of the prototype filters and catalysts developed here, among the best recorded values in both fields, are reported. These findings thus open new perspectives for catalytic and water purification applications.

publication date

  • February 1, 2018