Fractal-like Hierarchical CuO Nano/Microstructures for Large-Surface-to-Volume-Ratio Dip Catalysts

Vipul Sharma, Vijay Singh Parihar, Harri Ali-Löytty, Jorma Vihinen, Dattatraya Ukale, Kyriacos Yiannacou, Kimmo Lahtonen, Minna Kellomäki, Veikko Sariola

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Dip catalysts are attracting interest in both academia and industry for catalyzing important chemical reactions. These provide excellent stability, better recoverability, recyclability, and easy scale-up. Using the unique microstructures of leaf skeletons, we present a fractal-like hierarchical surface that can be used as a versatile and efficient dip catalyst. Copper oxide microcactuses with nanoscalar features were fabricated onto the Bauhinia racemosa leaf skeletons via a combination of physical vapor deposition, electroplating, and chemical oxidation methods. The coated leaf skeletons have a very high surface area, and the three-dimensional (3D) morphology allows the reactants to encounter the catalytic sites efficiently and move around the reaction mixture swiftly. The fabricated bioinspired leaf skeleton-based dip catalyst was characterized and demonstrated to be very efficient for alcohol dehydrogenation reaction, examined under different experimental conditions. A ceramic 3D-printed catalyst holder was designed to hold the catalysts to avoid any damage caused by the magnetic bars during the reactions. The performance is determined using the reaction yields, and the efficiencies are correlated with microcactus-like structures composed of CuO and the 3D fractal-like shape provided by the leaf skeleton. This strategy can be applied to fabricate other dip catalysts using different materials and designs, suitable for catalyzing numerous other chemical reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14591–14601
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number10
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • alcohol dehydrogenation
  • bioinspiration
  • copper oxide
  • dip catalyst
  • leaf skeleton

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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