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Issue 25, 2020
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Visible-light responsive BiNbO4 nanosheet photoanodes for stable and efficient solar-driven water oxidation

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Abstract

Herein, we report bismuth niobate (BiNbO4), which is regarded as an emerging photoanode material for sustainable photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar energy conversion. BiNbO4 possesses a direct bandgap (Eg) of ∼2.6 eV, and shows an appropriate band alignment for the water oxidation/reduction reaction. In this study, a simple sol–gel route followed by a spin coating method was applied to develop BiNbO4 nanosheets under the optimum annealing conditions. It is known that the annealing temperatures of 500 and 550 °C influence the crystallinity and PEC properties of BiNbO4 films. In particular, the 550 °C annealed film exhibited sharply improved crystalline properties, and rapidly enhanced PEC performance, which were accompanied by a photocurrent density of 0.45 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) (briefly abbreviated as 1.23 VRHE) in a strong alkaline solution of 1 M NaOH, compared with 0.26 mA cm−2 at 1.23 VRHE of the 500 °C annealed film. This may be attributed to the main increase of the crystallinity, as well as the improvement of the electronic properties. In addition, the BiNbO4 (550 °C) film showed an incident photon-to-current efficiency of 20% at 425 nm, and produced a stable photoresponse under light illumination in a strong alkaline solution over 5 h, compared with a BiVO4 electrode.

Graphical abstract: Visible-light responsive BiNbO4 nanosheet photoanodes for stable and efficient solar-driven water oxidation

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
17 Apr 2020
Accepted
05 Jun 2020
First published
08 Jun 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 14042-14051
Article type
Paper

Visible-light responsive BiNbO4 nanosheet photoanodes for stable and efficient solar-driven water oxidation

M. Arunachalam, K. Ahn and S. H. Kang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 14042
DOI: 10.1039/D0CP02071K

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