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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 21;6:29907. doi: 10.1038/srep29907.

Synergistic Effect of Surface Plasmonic particles and Surface Passivation layer on ZnO Nanorods Array for Improved Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China.
2
Civil and Environment Engineering school, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China.
3
The Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of New Energy Materials and Technologies, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China.

Abstract

One-dimensional zinc oxide nanorods array exhibit excellent electron mobility and thus hold great potential as photoanode for photoelelctrochemical water splitting. However, the poor absorption of visible light and the prominent surface recombination hider the performance improvement. In this work, Au nanoparticles and aluminium oxide were deposited onto the surface of ZnO nanorods to improve the PEC performance. The localized surface plasmon resonance of Au NPs could expand the absorption spectrum to visible region. Simultaneously, the surface of passivation with Au NPs and Al2O3 largely suppressed the photogenerated electron-hole recombination. As a result, the optimal solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of ZnO/Au/Al2O3 with 5 cycles was 6.7 times that of pristine ZnO, ascribed to the synergistic effect of SPR and surface passivation. This research reveals that the synergistic effect could be used as an important method to design efficient photoanodes for photoelectrochemical devices.

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