The growth of hollow tubes, nanowire array, and segmented porous nanowire arrays made of Cu-Zn alloys in a Lewis acidic ZnCl2-1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid via direct electrodeposition without the need for a template is presented. The formation of each of type of structure is described. Hollow tubes result from the uneven overpotential gradient created at low Cu(I) concentration and low applied deposition overpotential. Nanowire arrays form under mass-transport-limited conditions, in which the ionic liquid speciation plays an important role. Segmented porous nanowire arrays are obtained by increasing the Cu(I) concentration to enhance the concentration profile vibration near the growth surface. The electrodeposited nanowire arrays show very good efficiency for the electrocatalytic reduction of nitrate ions in alkaline aqueous solution.
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