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Fullerene-Directed Synthesis of Flowerlike Cu 3(PO 4) 2 Crystals for Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyes


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Biomineralization is a typical methodology developed by nature to produce calcium-based materials. A method mimicking this process has nowadays become popular for the preparation of artificial organic-inorganic hybrids. Here, Cu3(PO4)2#nbsp;crystals with a flowerlike morphology have been prepared using water-soluble derivatives of fullerene C60#nbsp;as templates. In a typical system, flowerlike crystals of Cu3(PO4)2#nbsp;(denoted FLCs-Cu) were obtained by simply dropping an aqueous solution of CuSO4#nbsp;into phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) containing a highly water-soluble multiadduct of C60#nbsp;(fullerenol). The best condition for the preparation of FLCs-Cu appeared at 0.20 mg·mL-1#nbsp;fullerenol and 0.10 mol·L-1#nbsp;PBS. During the formation of FLCs-Cu, fullerenol acts as a template and its content in FLCs-Cu is trace (less than 5% by atom) as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy mapping and thermogravimetric analysis. This feature makes fullerenol reusable, and the FLCs-Cu can be prepared repeatedly using the same fullerenol aqueous solution at least 10 times without a noticeable change in the morphology. The N2#nbsp;adsorption/desorption isotherm showed that the doping of fullerenol increased the specific surface area of the Cu3(PO4)2#nbsp;crystal. When fullerenol was replaced by C60#nbsp;monoadducts that are cofunctionalized with a pyrrolidine cation and oligo(poly(ethylene oxide)) chains, FLCs-Cu can form as well, indicating that the strategy of using water-soluble C60#nbsp;derivative as a template to get FLCs-Cu is universal. As a typical example of practical applications, the photocatalytic activity of the FLCs-Cu was investigated toward the degradation of dyes including rhodamine B and rhodamine 6G. In both cases, efficient photodegradation has been confirmed.

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