Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 6, 2017
Previous Article Next Article

Near-complete suppression of surface losses and total internal quantum efficiency in BiVO4 photoanodes

Author affiliations

Abstract

Bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) is one of the most efficient light absorbing metal oxides for solar water splitting. BiVO4 photoanodes immersed in an electrolyte in an open circuit configuration and exposed to simulated solar illumination for prolonged time achieve superior photoelectrochemical (PEC) activity. This photocharging (PC) effect is capable of almost completely overcoming the surface and bulk limitations of BiVO4. Herein we show that alkaline conditions favor the PC effect; specifically BiVO4 photoanodes subjected to PC treatment at pH 10 achieve a record high photocurrent for undoped and uncatalyzed BiVO4 of 4.3 mA cm−2 @ 1.23 VRHE, an outstandingly low onset potential of 0.25 VRHE, and a very steep photocurrent onset. Alkaline conditions also facilitate excellent external and internal quantum efficiencies of 75 and 95% respectively (average in the 440 nm > λ > 330 nm range). Moreover, impedance spectroscopy and in situ XAS study suggest that electronic, structural and chemical properties of the bulk of these films remain unchanged during the PC treatment. However, appreciable changes in the surface-related properties take place. Ultimately, our results indicate that the improved activity of PC-BiVO4 is enhanced by surface reaction pathways of the semiconductor–liquid junction, which is directly correlated with the electrochemical environment in which it is modified.

Graphical abstract: Near-complete suppression of surface losses and total internal quantum efficiency in BiVO4 photoanodes

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 19 Dec 2016, accepted on 26 May 2017 and first published on 26 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6EE03677E
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2017,10, 1517-1529
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
  •   Request permissions

    Near-complete suppression of surface losses and total internal quantum efficiency in BiVO4 photoanodes

    B. J. Trześniewski, I. A. Digdaya, T. Nagaki, S. Ravishankar, I. Herraiz-Cardona, D. A. Vermaas, A. Longo, S. Gimenez and W. A. Smith, Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, 10, 1517
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EE03677E

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements