Hydrothermal Synthesis and High Photocatalytic Activity of 3D Wurtzite ZnSe Hierarchical Nanostructures

Novel 3D wurtzite ZnSe hierarchical nanostructures have been synthesized by a mild hydrothermal treatment. The as-prepared flowerlike nanostructures efficiently catalyze the photodegradation of methylene blue and ethyl violet present in aqueous solutions under UV light irradiation, exhibiting higher photocatalytic activity than the commercially available photocatalysts P25 and ZnSe microspheres. We also demonstrate that flowerlike morphology is important for the excellent photocatalytic activity. The high photoactivity of the hierarchical nanoflowers can be attributed to the combined effects of several factors, namely, large surface areas, the existence of mesopores, and the high band gap energy. In addition, the photocatalysts work effectively under natural sunlight as well. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that wurtzite ZnSe 3D flowerlike nanostructures with high photocatalytic activity have been synthesized in solution.