General Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Multilayered Photoanodes: Triggering Tandem Charge Transport toward Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation
- Shuo HouShuo HouCollege of Materials Science and Engineering, Fuzhou University, New Campus, Minhou, Fujian Province 350108, ChinaMore by Shuo Hou,
- Zhi-Quan WeiZhi-Quan WeiCollege of Materials Science and Engineering, Fuzhou University, New Campus, Minhou, Fujian Province 350108, ChinaMore by Zhi-Quan Wei,
- Xiao-Cheng DaiXiao-Cheng DaiCollege of Materials Science and Engineering, Fuzhou University, New Campus, Minhou, Fujian Province 350108, ChinaMore by Xiao-Cheng Dai,
- Ming-Hui HuangMing-Hui HuangMore by Ming-Hui Huang, and
- Fang-Xing Xiao*
Modulation of photoinduced charge separation/migration and construction of controllable charge transfer pathway over photoelectrodes have been attracting enduring interest in semiconductor-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells but suffer from sluggish charge transport kinetics. Here, we report a general approach to fabricate NP-TNTAs/(TMCs QDs/PSS)n (X = Te, Se, S) photoanodes via a facile and green electrostatic layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly strategy, for which transition-metal chalcogenides quantum dots (TMCs QDs) [CdX (X = Se, Te, S)] and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) were periodically deposited on the nanoporous TiO2 nanotube arrays (NP-TNTAs) via substantial electrostatic force, resulting in the continuous charge transfer pathway. NP-TNTAs/(TMCs QDs/PSS)n photoanodes demonstrate significantly enhanced solar-driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation activities, relative to NP-TNTAs and TMCs QDs under visible and simulated sunlight irradiation, predominantly because of the suitable energy level configuration between NP-TNTAs and TMCs QDs, unique integration mode, and high-speed interfacial charge separation rate endowed by LbL assembly. The ultrathin PSS intermediate layer functions as “molecule glue” for pinpoint and uniform self-assembly of TMCs QDs on the framework of NP-TNTAs and photosensitization effect of TMCs QDs triggers the unidirectional charge transfer cascade, synergistically boosting the charge separation/transfer efficiency. Our work offers an efficacious approach to craft multilayered photoelectrodes and spur further interest in finely tuning the spatial charge flow in PEC cell for solar-to-hydrogen conversion.
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