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Disordered layers on WO3 nanoparticles enable photochemical generation of hydrogen from water

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Abstract

Tailored defects on a semiconductor surface can provide active catalytic sites and effectively tune the electronic structure for suitable optical properties. Herein, we report that surface modification of WO3 with a disordered layer enables the photochemical hydrogen production from water. A simple room temperature solution process with lithium-ethylenediamine (Li-EDA) alters the surface of WO3 with localized defects that form a thin disordered layer. Both structural and optical characterization reveal that such a disordered layer induces an upshift in the Fermi level and the elevation of the conduction band of WO3 above the hydrogen reduction potential. Using an alkaline sacrificial agent, Li-EDA treated WO3 shows a co-catalyst-free photochemical hydrogen evolution rate of 94.2 μmol g−1 h−1 under simulated sunlight. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of using WO3 as a direct photocatalyst for hydrogen generation from water via simple surface defect engineering.

Graphical abstract: Disordered layers on WO3 nanoparticles enable photochemical generation of hydrogen from water

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2018, accepted on 21 Nov 2018 and first published on 23 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA09446B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article
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    Disordered layers on WO3 nanoparticles enable photochemical generation of hydrogen from water

    L. Wang, C. Tsang, W. Liu, X. Zhang, K. Zhang, E. Ha, W. Kwok, J. H. Park, L. Y. Suk Lee and K. Wong, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA09446B

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