Nanostructured bismuth vanadate-based materials for solar-energy-driven water oxidation: a review on recent progress
Water oxidation is the key step for both photocatalytic water splitting and CO2 reduction, but its efficiency is very low compared with the photocatalytic reduction of water. Bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) is the most promising photocatalyst for water oxidation and has become a hot topic for current research. However, the efficiency achieved with this material to date is far away from the theoretical solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency, mainly due to the poor photo-induced electron transportation and the slow kinetics of oxygen evolution. Fortunately, great breakthroughs have been made in the past five years in both improving the efficiency and understanding the related mechanism. This review is aimed at summarizing the recent experimental and computational breakthroughs in single crystals modified by element doping, facet engineering, and morphology control, as well as macro/mesoporous structure construction, and composites fabricated by homo/hetero-junction construction and co-catalyst loading. We aim to provide guidelines for the rational design and fabrication of highly efficient BiVO4-based materials for water oxidation.