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Title: Nanostructured core–shell metal borides–oxides as highly efficient electrocatalysts for photoelectrochemical water oxidation
Oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts are critical components of photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation. Herein, nanostructured metal boride MB (M = Co, Fe) electrocatalysts, which have been synthesized by a Sn/SnCl 2 redox assisted solid-state method, were integrated with WO 3 thin films to build heterojunction photoanodes. As-obtained MB modified WO 3 photoanodes exhibit enhanced charge carrier transport, amended separation of photogenerated electrons and holes, prolonged hole lifetime and increased charge carrier density. Surface modification of CoB and FeB significantly enhances the photocurrent density of WO 3 photoanodes from 0.53 to 0.83 and 0.85 mA cm −2 , respectively, in transient chronoamperometry (CA) at 1.23 V vs. RHE (V RHE ) under interrupted illumination in 0.1 M Na 2 SO 4 electrolyte (pH 7), corresponding to an increase of 1.6 relative to pristine WO 3 . In contrast, the pristine MB thin film electrodes do not produce noticeable photocurrent during water oxidation. The metal boride catalysts transform in situ to a core–shell structure with a metal boride core and a metal oxide (MO, M = Co, Fe) surface layer. When coupled to WO 3 thin films, the CoB@CoO x nanostructures exhibit a higher catalytic enhancement than corresponding pure cobalt borate (Co-B i ) and cobalt hydroxide (Co(OH) x ) electrocatalysts. Our results emphasize the role of the semiconductor–electrocatalyst interface for photoelectrodes and their high dependency on materials combination.  more » « less
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3121 to 3128
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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