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An Electrochemically Treated BiVO4 Photoanode for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Research paper by Songcan Wang, Peng Chen, Dr. Jung‐Ho Yun, Yuxiang Hu, Prof. Dr. Lianzhou Wang

Indexed on: 14 Jun '17Published on: 08 Jun '17Published in: Angewandte Chemie



Abstract

BiVO4 films with (040) facet grown vertically on fluorine doped SnO2 (FTO) glass substrates are prepared by a seed-assisted hydrothermal method. A simple electrochemical treatment process drastically enhances the photocatalytic activity of BiVO4, exhibiting a remarkable photocurrent density of 2.5 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) under AM 1.5 G illumination, which is approximately 10-fold higher than that of the pristine photoanode. Loading cobalt borate (CoBi) as cocatalyst, the photocurrent density of the BiVO4 photoanode can be further improved to 3.2 mA cm−2, delivering an applied bias photon-to-current efficiency (ABPE) of 1.1 %. Systematic studies reveal that crystal facet orientation also synergistically boosts both charge separation and transfer efficiencies, resulting in remarkably enhanced photocurrent densities. These findings provide a facile and effective approach for the development of efficient photoelectrodes for photoelectrochemical water splitting.