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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2013 Oct;13(10):6835-40.

Solution fabrication of large-area Si/TiO2 core/shell nanowire arrays modified by Au nanoparticles with high photoactivity for solar water splitting.

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  • 1Functional Nanomaterials Laboratory and Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100190, China.


Large-area Si/TiO2 core/shell nanowire arrays were prepared for the first time by solution approach, followed by annealing in Ar (SiNWs/TiO2-Ar) and air (SiNWs/TiO2-air) atmosphere, respectively. Au nanoparticles were decorated onto the SiNWs/TiO2-Ar samples (SiNWs/TiO2@AuNPs-Ar) to further improve the photoactivity. XRD results showed that the TiO2 shells have an anatase crystalline structure. Photocurrent of solar water splitting was measured by a three electrode setup, in which the Si/TiO2 core/shell nanowire array served as the working electrode. It was found for the first time that Ar ambience annealing is more helpful improving the photocurrent density. The SiNWs/TiO2-Ar sample enhanced the photocurrent by 6.3 times compared to the SiNWs/TiO2-air sample. Furthermore, the SiNWs/TiO2@AuNPs-Ar arrays exhibited a photocurrent of 0.9 mA/cm2, 3.6 times as high as that of its counterpart without Au nanoparticles.

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