Significantly improved charge collection and interface injection in 3D BiVO4 based multilayered core–shell nanowire photocatalysts†
It is challenging to design a photocatalyst with high-efficiency light absorption, charge separation and even high-efficiency charge transfer. Here, we report a demonstration by utilizing a three-dimensional multilayered core–shell nanowire array (rGO-ITO@BiVO4) as the composite photocatalyst. The core–shell structure can shorten the length of charge transfer and enhance light absorption through multireflection. RGO with defects can work as the charge transfer medium to improve the hole injection from semiconductor to electrolyte. Associated with the above effects, the Co-pi electrocatalyst modified rGO-ITO@BiVO4 photocatalyst yields a photocurrent of about 6.0 mA cm−2 at 0.6 V vs. Ag/AgCl. Transient-state surface photovoltage measurement shows that the rGO layer can prolong the lifetime of the photogenerated holes through π–π interactions, so that more holes can participate in the water oxidation reaction.