Highly efficient photocatalytic conversion of solar energy to hydrogen by WO3/BiVO4 core–shell heterojunction nanorods
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Photocatalytic splitting of water under solar light has proved itself to be a promising approach toward the utilization of solar energy and the generation of environmentally friendly fuel in a form of hydrogen. In this work, we demonstrate highly efficient solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 7.7% by photovoltaic–photoelectrochemical (PV–PEC) device based on hybrid MAPbI3 perovskite PV cell and WO3/BiVO4 core–shell nanorods PEC cell tandem that utilizes spectral splitting approach. Although BiVO4 is characterized by intrinsically high recombination rate of photogenerated carriers, this is not an issue for WO3/BiVO4 core–shell nanorods, where highly conductive WO3 cores are combined with extremely thin absorber BiVO4 shell layer. Since the BiVO4 layer is thinner than the characteristic carrier diffusion length, the photogenerated charge carriers are separated at the WO3/BiVO4 heterojunction before their recombination. Also, such architecture provides sufficient optical thickness even for extremely thin BiVO4 layer due to efficient light trapping in the core–shell WO3/BiVO4 nanorods with high aspect ratio. We also demonstrate that the concept of fill factor can be used to compare I–V characteristics of different photoanodes regarding their optimization for PV/PEC tandem devices.
KeywordsWater splitting Photocatalysis Photoanode Core–shell heterojunction Nanorod Photocurrent
I. T. and M. K. acknowledge support of the New Energy Development Organization of Japan. S. K., Y. P., K. M., Y. K., and T. K. acknowledge support of CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) of the Science and Technology Corporation (JST) of Japan. R. B. and K. M. acknowledge financial support from the research project “Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program for Specially Promoted Research for Innovative Next Generation Batteries” of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST ALCA-SPRING) and from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) program for the Development of Environmental Technology using Nanotechnology. E. A. G. and A. B. T. acknowledge financial support from the Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation, Project Number: RFMEFI60716X0147 and JSC “Krasnoyarskaya HPP”.
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