Photocatalytic Water Oxidation on BiVO4 with the Electrocatalyst as an Oxidation Cocatalyst: Essential Relations between Electrocatalyst and Photocatalyst

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State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, Dalian 116023, China
Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*E-mail: [email protected]; Tel: 86-411-84379070; Fax: 86-411-84694447.
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2012, 116, 8, 5082–5089
Publication Date (Web):February 1, 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society
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The oxygen evolution is kinetically the key step in the photocatalytic water splitting. Cocatalysts could lower the activation potential for O2 evolution. However, the cocatalyst for O2 evolution has been less investigated, and few effective cocatalysts were reported. This paper reports that the O2 evolution rate of photocatalytic water splitting under visible light irradiation can be significantly enhanced when the electrocatalyst cobalt–phosphate (denoted as CoPi) was deposited on BiVO4. The photocurrent density is also greatly enhanced by loading CoPi on BiVO4 electrode, and this enhancement in performance shows the similar trend between the photocatalytic activity and photocurrent density. We also found that this tendency is true for BiVO4 loaded with a series of different electrocatalysts as the cocatalysts. These results demonstrate that an effective electrocatalyst of water oxidation can be also an effective cocatalyst for O2 evolution from photocatalytic water oxidation. By depositing the CoPi as the oxidation cocatalyst and Pt as the reduction cocatalyst on an yttrium-doped BiVO4 (Bi0.5Y0.5VO4), overall water splitting reaction to H2 and O2 was realized. Our work also reveals the essential relations between photocatalysis and electrocatalysis in water splitting reaction.

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