Bespoke selenium nanowires with comprehensive piezo-phototronic effects as viable p-type semiconductor-based piezo-photocatalysts

Minju Kim, Junyoung Kwon, Hyun Jeong Lee, Kwan Sik Park, Jiweon Kim, Jeongwon Kim, Kyungnae Baek, Hong Yuan, Jerome K. Hyun, Yong Soo Cho, Jihyeon Yeom, Dong Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As the demand for environmental purification and energy harvesting continues to grow, research on maximizing the efficiency of catalysts is attracting great attention. The piezo-phototronic effect has emerged as an effective strategy to enhance the photocatalytic activity of semiconductors. While p-type semiconductors exhibit high photoresponsivity across a wide spectral range, their potential as piezo-photocatalysts has been limited due to their low carrier concentration and inferior carrier migration behavior. Therefore, it is hypothesized that overcoming these limitations would allow p-type semiconductors to achieve catalytic performance comparable to, or even surpassing, that of n-type systems. Here, we introduce two effective strategies into p-type trigonal selenium nanowires (Se NWs): electron-proton co-doping and localized surface plasmon resonance effect. These approaches improve the light absorption capacity, charge transport ability, and piezoelectricity, thereby significantly enhancing the piezo-photocatalytic performance. Under the influence of the piezo-phototronic effect, the post-treated Se NWs exhibit markedly enhanced evolution rates of reactive oxygen species compared to pure Se NWs. Consequently, the degradation efficiency of organic contaminants is increased up to 4-fold. This breakthrough opens up a new pathway for the development of p-type piezoelectric materials, which can potentially replace their n-type counterparts in catalytic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108680
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Sep 2023

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  • Electron-proton co-doping
  • Piezo-photocatalysis
  • Piezo-phototronic effect
  • Selenium nanowire
  • Surface plasmon resonance


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