Hollow structured semiconductor oxide materials have been paid more and more attention due to their potential applications in many areas. Cobalt(ii,iii) oxide (Co3O4) is an important semiconductor oxide and its synthesis and properties have been of growing interest owing to prominent applications in several fields. This article provides a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art research activities that concentrate on the rational synthesis, novel properties and unique applications of Co3O4 hollow structures in nanotechnology. It begins with the rational design and fabrication of such structures, and then highlights a range of their unique properties and applications (e.g. magnetic, catalytic and superhydrophobic properties, lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, water treatment, gas sensing). Finally, the feature article is concluded with the authors' outlook of the perspectives with respect to future research on Co3O4 hollow structures.
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