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Issue 1, 2011
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Water photolysis with a cross-linked titanium dioxidenanowire anode

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We report efficient water photolysis using a cross-linked TiO2 nanowire anode containing mixed anatase and rutile phases. Under simulated AM 1.5 G illumination, the peak solar energy conversion efficiency is measured to be 1.05%, a new record for TiO2 photoanodes. A photocurrent density as high as 2.6 mA cm−2 is observed when the film thickness is 22 μm. These observations indicate that the high surface area architecture afforded by the cross-linked TiO2 nanowires enables both long optical path lengths and high photon-to-electron conversion efficiency. We also report photocurrent in the visible range due to sub-band gap absorptions, which is enhanced by up to a factor of 10 when the TiO2 nanowires are coated with gold or silver nanoparticles. This enhancement is observed only in thinner (up to 1 μm) TiO2 nanowire films, however, indicating that the effect stems from enhanced light retention by nanoparticle scattering.

Graphical abstract: Water photolysis with a cross-linked titanium dioxide nanowire anode

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Supplementary files

Article information

28 May 2010
02 Aug 2010
First published
10 Sep 2010

Chem. Sci., 2011,2, 80-87
Article type
Edge Article

Water photolysis with a cross-linked titanium dioxide nanowire anode

M. Liu, N. de Leon Snapp and H. Park, Chem. Sci., 2011, 2, 80
DOI: 10.1039/C0SC00321B

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