In the work, the use of the composite material for filter-free photocatalysis has been evaluated as a case study. By measuring the degradation rate of two organic dyes (see video), the team found that the combined material outperformed bare ZnO tetrapods in tests. In addition, the superparamagnetic properties of the composite permit easy, on-demand recovery from the treated water following the application of a magnetic field, which avoids the need for further downstream filtering.

As a further perspective, the combination of magnetic and piezoelectric properties in one composite material paves the way for the realization of new-concept systems with piezo-magnetic functionalities.

Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.