Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 59, Issue 18, pp 2191–2198 | Cite as

Au@SiO2 core/shell nanoparticle-decorated TiO2 nanorod arrays for enhanced photoelectrochemical water splitting

  • Jianan Chen
  • Miao Yu
  • Yuhao Wang
  • Shaohua Shen
  • Meng Wang
  • Liejin Guo
Article Materials Science


To improve the separation efficiency of photoinduced charge carries, Au@SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) with core–shell structure were loaded onto the surface of TiO2 nanorods grown on fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate by a facile two-step process. The resulted Au@SiO2/TiO2 photoanodes were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, as well as photoelectrochemical measurements. Compared with pristine TiO2 nanorod film, the Au@SiO2/TiO2 films showed remarkable enhancement in photoelectrochemical water splitting, with incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency increasing from 31 % to 37 % at 380 nm at 0.7 V versus saturated calomel electrode. This could be interpreted by the effect of metallic surface plasmon resonance of Au@SiO2 NPs, which would generate an intense electromagnetic field with spatially nonhomogenous distributed intensity. As a result, the charge carriers generated in the near-surface region of TiO2 nanorods could be easily separated. This modification method based on the effect of metallic surface plasmon resonance for promoted charge carrier separation provides a promising way to develop semiconductor photoelectrodes with high solar water-splitting performance.


Titanium oxide Charge carrier separation Metallic plasmon resonance Photoanode 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51102194, 51323011, and 51121092), the Doctoral Program of the Ministry of Education (20110201120040), and the Nano Research Program of Suzhou City (ZXG2013003). S. Shen was supported by the Foundation for the Author of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of China (201335), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianan Chen
    • 1
  • Miao Yu
    • 2
  • Yuhao Wang
    • 2
  • Shaohua Shen
    • 1
  • Meng Wang
    • 1
  • Liejin Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.International Research Center for Renewable Energy, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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