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Nano Research

Article Title

Room-temperature photodeposition of conformal transition metal based cocatalysts on BiVO4 for enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting

Keywords

bismuth vanadate, photoelectrochemcial water splitting, conformal photodeposition, cocatalyst

Abstract

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting using semiconductors offers a promising way to convert renewable solar energy to clean hydrogen fuels. However, due to the sluggish reaction kinetics of water oxidation, significant charge recombination occurred at the photoanode/electrolyte interface and cause decrease of its PEC performance. To reduce the surface recombination, we deposit different transition metal complexes on BiVO4 nanocone arrays by a versatile light driven in-situ two electrode photodeposition approach without applied bias. Conformal cobalt phosphate “Co-Pi”, nickel borate “Ni-Bi” and manganese phosphate “Mn-Pi” complexes were deposited on BiVO4 nanocone arrays to form core-shell structure photoanode, all of which lead to enhanced photoelectrochemical performance. The photocurrent of the Co-Pi/BiVO4 photoanode under front-side illumination for 5 min is increased by 4 folds comparing to that of bare BiVO4 photoanode at 0.6 V vs. RHE, reaching a hole transfer efficiency as high as 94.5% at 1.23 V vs. RHE. The proposed photodeposition strategy is simple and efficient, and can be extended to deposite cocatalyst on other semiconductors with a valence band edge located at a potential more positive than the oxidation potential of transition metal ion in the cocatalyst.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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