Near-Complete Suppression of Surface Recombination in Solar Photoelectrolysis by “Co-Pi” Catalyst-Modified W:BiVO4

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Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-1700, United States
Cite this: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 45, 18370–18377
Publication Date (Web):September 26, 2011
https://doi.org/10.1021/ja207348x
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

The influence of an earth-abundant water oxidation electrocatalyst (Co-Pi) on solar water oxidation by W:BiVO4 has been studied using photoelectrochemical (PEC) techniques. Modification of W:BiVO4 photoanode surfaces with Co-Pi has yielded a very large (∼440 mV) cathodic shift in the onset potential for sustained PEC water oxidation at pH 8. PEC experiments with H2O2 as a surrogate substrate have revealed that interfacing Co-Pi with these W:BiVO4 photoanodes almost completely eliminates losses due to surface electron–hole recombination. The results obtained for W:BiVO4 are compared with those reported recently for Co-Pi/α-Fe2O3 photoanodes. The low absolute onset potential of ∼310 mV vs RHE achieved with the Co-Pi/W:BiVO4 combination is promising for overall solar water splitting in low-cost tandem PEC cells, and is encouraging for application of this surface modification strategy to other candidate photoanodes.

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Additional characterization data including XRD, EDX, absorption, and PEC data, and details pertaining to Lp (7 figures, 1 table). This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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