Improving the photoactivity of bismuth vanadate thin film photoanodes through doping and surface modification strategies

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Title: Improving the photoactivity of bismuth vanadate thin film photoanodes through doping and surface modification strategies
Authors: Quiñonero, Javier | Lana-Villarreal, Teresa | Gómez, Roberto
Research Group/s: Grupo de Fotoquímica y Electroquímica de Semiconductores (GFES)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Química Física | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Electroquímica
Keywords: Photoelectro chemistry | Water splitting | La doping | Ce doping | Gold nanoparticles
Knowledge Area: Química Física
Issue Date: 5-Oct-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 2016, 194: 141-149. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.04.057
Abstract: Currently, one of the most attractive and desirable ways to solve the energy challenge is harvesting energy directly from the sunlight through the so-called artificial photosynthesis. Among the ternary oxides based on earth–abundant metals, bismuth vanadate has recently emerged as a promising photoanode. Herein, BiVO4 thin film photoanodes have been successfully synthesized by a modified metal-organic precursor decomposition method, followed by an annealing treatment. In an attempt to improve the photocatalytic properties of this semiconductor material for photoelectrochemical water oxidation, the electrodes have been modified (i) by doping with La and Ce (by modifying the composition of the BiVO4 precursor solution with the desired concentration of the doping element), and (ii) by surface modification with Au nanoparticles potentiostatically electrodeposited. La and Ce doping at concentrations of 1 and 2 at% in the BiVO4 precursor solution, respectively, enhances significantly the photoelectrocatalytic performance of BiVO4 without introducing important changes in either the material structure or the electrode morphology, according to XRD and SEM characterization. In addition, surface modification of the electrodes with Au nanoparticles further enhances the photocurrent as such metallic nanoparticles act as co-catalysts, promoting charge transfer at the semiconductor/solution interface. The combination of these two complementary ways of modifying the electrodes has resulted in a significant increase in the photoresponse, facilitating their potential application in artificial photosynthesis devices.
Sponsor: Financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through projects MAT2012–37676 and MAT2015-71727-R (FONDOS FEDER) is gratefully acknowledged.
ISSN: 0926-3373 (Print) | 1873-3883 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2016.04.057
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - GFES - Artículos de Revistas

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