Self-Sacrificed Construction of Defect-Rich ZnO@ZIF-8 Nanocomposites for Enhanced Photocurrent Property
As an ideal candidate for photoanode material, various morphological and functional properties of ZnO have been designed and synthesized for application in photoelectrochemical cell. However, the fast internal recombination between photocarriers greatly limits the separation efficiency of ZnO. In such a situation, it is found that the defects in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) usually result in unique properties for the MOFs composites. Here, we propose an in situ self-sacrificed system to fabricate ZnO@ZIF-8 nanocomposites with a large number of defective active sites. The induced uncoordinated N atoms interact with H2O molecules to form hydrogen bonds and create proton pathways. The proton pathways gather large amount of hydrogen ions, increase the electrolyte contact and inhibit the internal recombination between photocarriers. The improved performance may inspire the synthesis of ZnO-based photoanodes and provide important insight into the application of defect chemistry in MOFs.