Nanocomposites are of great interest due to their novel properties that originated from the synergic effect. Current approaches are not cost-effective and eco-friendly because of the usage of toxic reagents, such as AgNO3 and H2PtCl6during fabricating the metallic particles. Nowdays, numerous metal and semiconductor nanoparticles have already been commercialized with stable and mature industrial processing techniques. Therefore, It is very valuable if an efficient and cost-effective method could be found to fabricate nanocomposites from the commercial nano particles at nanoscale. 

Under the guidance of Prof. Xiangyou Li, Ph.D. candidate Huiwu Yu et al. proposed a green and simple method to prepare metal/semiconductor nanocomposites by selective laser nano-welding metal and semiconductor nanoparticles. This is a general, simple, low in waste and high in yield fabrication method (Figure 1), and many types of nanocomposites (such as Ag/TiO2, Ag/SnO2, Ag/ZnO2, Pt/TiO2, Pt/SnO2, Pt/ZnO) can be prepared by this method. By this novel method, the properties of both components can be maintained or enhanced. Taking Ag/TiO2 as an example, the sizes, phases and morphologies of TiO2 (both rutile and anatase) can be maintained, whilst the light absorptivity is enhanced as increasing the Ag contents. 

 

Figure 1 Schematic illustration of selective laser nano-welding for preparing metal/semiconductor nanocomposites.

The results were published in Nanoscale, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Huiwu Yu, Xiangyou Li,* Zhongqi Hao, Wei Xiong, Lianbo Guo, Yongfeng Lu, Rongxing Yi, Jiaming Li, Xinyan Yang and Xiaoyan Zeng, Fabrication of metal/semiconductor nanocomposites by selective laser nano-welding[J]. Nanoscale, 2017. 9, 7012-7015 (DOI:10.1039/C7NR01854A).

In addition, carbon dots, titanium dioxide spheres and hollow TiO2 spheres have been prepared by non-focusing laser irradiation technique by this research group. The relevant results were published on Chemical Communications (52, 819-822, 2016), The Journal of Physical Chemistry C (JPCC, Published online 19 May 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b03464 ), RSC Adv.(6, 110911-110915), 2016,  respectively.

These works were financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, 61378031).