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Molecular Cobalt Salophen Catalyst-Integrated BiVO4 as Stable and Robust Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Abstract

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting is a promising method for the conversion and storage of solar energy. A combination of catalysts with photoelectrodes is generally required in the development of active photoanodes in PEC devices. In this work, we present two BiVO4 photoanodes modified with cobalt salophen (Co(salophen)) complexes for PEC water oxidation. The resulting photoanodes show significantly enhanced PEC performance. Under simulated sunlight illumination (AM 1.5G, 100 mW/cm2), high photocurrents of 3.89 mA/cm2 and 4.27 mA/cm2 were obtained for Co1/BiVO4 and Co2/BiVO4 respectively at 1.23 V (vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)) in a neutral solution, an almost three-fold enhancement over that of the unmodified BiVO4. Intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS) analysises show that the Co(salophen) complexes, not only accelerate the water oxidation reaction, but also reduce the surface recombination. The half-cell solar energy conversion efficiencies for Co1/BiVO4 and Co2/BiVO4 were 1.09% and 1.18% at 0.7 V, respectively. Due to their hydrophobic nature, the Co(salophen) complexes can bind strongly to the surface of BiVO4. When the Co2 complex featuring four hydrophobic tert-butyl groups in salophen ligand was anchored to BiVO4, an extremely stable photocurrent of more than 3.5 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V vs. RHE is sustained for at least 3 h without decay. Such a stable and robust photoanode based on molecular WOC surpass those attained by most of the state-of-the-art heterogeneous catalysts.

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Feb 2018, accepted on 01 May 2018 and first published on 02 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA01304G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Molecular Cobalt Salophen Catalyst-Integrated BiVO4 as Stable and Robust Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

    Y. Liu, Y. Jiang, F. Li, F. Yu, W. Jiang and L. Xia, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA01304G

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