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Research Article

Organic ligand nanoarchitectonics for BiVO4 photoanodes surface passivation and cocatalyst grafting

Jingyi Lin1,2Xin Li3Zhiliang Wang2Runlu Liu1Hui Pan1,4Yixin Zhao3Lingti Kong1Yao Li1Shenmin Zhu1( )Lianzhou Wang2( )
State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Nanomaterials Centre, School of Chemical Engineering and Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Hubei Key Laboratory of Plasma Chemistry and Advanced Materials, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China
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Graphical Abstract

A low-cost organic ligand, 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid (BTC), is selected for surface passivation for BiVO4 (BVO) photoanodes, as well as cocatalyst grafting. The new Co-BTC-BVO photoanode exhibits an excellent photocurrent density and a low onset potential under AM 1.5 G illumination, attributing to the interfacial chemical bonds.

Abstract

Bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) is a promising photoanode material for efficient photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, whereas its performance is inhibited by detrimental surface states. To solve the problem, herein, a low-cost organic molecule 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid (BTC) is selected for surface passivation of BiVO4 photoanodes (BVOs), which also provides bonding sites for Co2+ to anchor, resulting in a Co-BTC-BVO photoanode. Owing to its strong coordination with metal ions, BTC not only passivates surface states of BVO, but also provides bonding between BVO and catalytic active sites (Co2+) to form a molecular cocatalyst. Computational study and interfacial charge kinetic investigation reveal that chemical bonding formed at the interface greatly suppresses charge recombination and accelerates charge transfer. The obtained Co-BTC-BVO photoanode exhibits a photocurrent density of 4.82 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and a low onset potential of 0.22 VRHE under AM 1.5 G illumination, which ranks among the best photoanodes coupled with Co-based cocatalysts. This work presents a novel selection of passivation layers and emphasizes the significance of interfacial chemical bonding for the construction of efficient photoanodes.

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Nano Research
Pages 3667-3674
Cite this article:
Lin J, Li X, Wang Z, et al. Organic ligand nanoarchitectonics for BiVO4 photoanodes surface passivation and cocatalyst grafting. Nano Research, 2024, 17(5): 3667-3674. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-023-6262-1
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Received: 11 September 2023
Revised: 09 October 2023
Accepted: 11 October 2023
Published: 11 November 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023
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