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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2013 Sep 21;15(35):14723-8. doi: 10.1039/c3cp52401a.

Efficient photoelectrochemical water oxidation over cobalt-phosphate (Co-Pi) catalyst modified BiVO4/1D-WO3 heterojunction electrodes.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado School Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA.


We report the design, synthesis and photoelectrochemical characterization of cobalt phosphate (Co-Pi) oxygen evolution catalyst modified heterojunction photoelectrodes consisting of one-dimensional WO3 nanorods (1D-WO3) and highly porous BiVO4 layers. The 1D-WO3 nanorods were prepared by the decomposition of the tetrabutylammonium decatungstate precursor in the presence of poly(ethylene glycol) as a binding agent. The porous BiVO4 layers were spray deposited using a surfactant assisted metal-organic decomposition method. The Co-Pi oxygen evolution catalyst was deposited onto the BiVO4/1D-WO3/FTO heterojunction electrode using a photoassisted electrodeposition method. The Co-Pi catalyst modified heterojunction electrodes exhibited a sustained enhancement in the photocurrent compared to the unmodified BiVO4/1D-WO3/FTO heterojunction electrodes. The improved photoelectrochemical properties profited from the enhanced charge carrier separation achieved through the integration of highly porous BiVO4 layers on top of 1D-WO3 nanorods and from the superior kinetics due to the presence of the Co-Pi oxygen evolution catalyst on top of BiVO4/1D-WO3/FTO heterojunction electrodes.

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