Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.557, 478-487, 2019
Interfacial growth of the optimal BiVO4 nanoparticles onto self-assembled WO3 nanoplates for efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting
Photoelectrochemical water splitting is the most efficient green engineering approach to convert the sun light into hydrogen energy. The formation of high surface area core-shell heterojunction with enhanced light-harvesting efficiency, elevated charge separation, and transport are key parameters in achieving the ideal water splitting performance of the photoanode. Herein, we demonstrate a first green engineering interfacial growth of the BiVO4 nanoparticles onto self-assembled WO3 nanoplates forming WO3/BiVO4 core-shell heterojunction for efficient PEC water splitting performance. The three different WO3 nanostructures (nanoplates, nanobricks, and stacked nanosheets) were self-assembled on fluorine doped tin oxide glass substrates via hydrothermal route at various pH (0.8-1.2) of the solutions. In comparison to nanobricks and stacked nanosheets, WO3 nanoplates displayed considerably elevated photocurrent density. Moreover, a simple and low cost green approach of modified chemical bath deposition technique was established for the optimal decoration of a BiVO4 nanoparticles on vertically aligned WO3 nanoplates. The boosted photoelectrochemical current density of 1.7 mA cm(-2) at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) under AM 1.5 G illumination was achieved for the WO3/BiVO4 heterojunction which can be attributed to a suitable band alignment for the efficient charge transfer from BiVO4 to WO3, increased light harvesting capability of outer BiVO4 layer, and high charge transfer efficiency of WO3 nanoplates. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.