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Small. 2014 Nov;10(22):4760-9. doi: 10.1002/smll.201401298. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Epitaxial growth of ZnO Nanodisks with large exposed polar facets on nanowire arrays for promoting photoelectrochemical water splitting.

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Department of Chemistry, William Mong Institute of Nano Science and Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Single-crystalline and branched 1D arrays, ZnO nanowires/nanodisks (NWs/NDs) arrays, are fabricated to significantly enhance the performance of photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. The epitaxial growth of the ZnO NDs with large exposed polar facets on ZnO NWs exhibits a laminated structure, which dramatically increases the light scattering capacity of the NWs arrays, especially in the wavelength region around 400 nm. The ND branching of the 1D arrays in the epitaxial fashion not only increase surface area and light utilization, but also support fast charge transport, leading to the considerable increase of photocurrent. Moreover, the tiny size NDs can facilitate charge separation and reduce charge recombination, while the large exposed polar facets of NDs reduce the external potential bias needed for water splitting. These advantages land the ZnO NWs/NDs arrays a four times higher power conversion efficiency than the ZnO NWs arrays. By sensitizing the ZnO NWs/NDs with CdS and CdSe quantum dots, the PEC performance can be further improved. This work advocates a trunk/leaf in forest concept for the single-crystalline NWs/NDs in array with enlarged exposure of polar facets, which opens the way for optimizing light harvesting and charge separation and transport, and thus the PEC water splitting.


ZnO nanowire arrays; nanodisks; polar facets; single-crystallinity; water splitting

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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