A “surface patching” strategy to achieve highly efficient solar water oxidation beyond surface passivation effect

Bingjun Jin, Yoonjun Cho, Yan Zhang, Do Hyung Chun, Ping Li, Kan Zhang, Kug Seung Lee, Jong Hyeok Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The hole trapping sites at the photoanode/electrolyte interface seriously detract from the positive effect of oxygen-vacancy on photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation. In this work, a “patching” strategy is put forward to eliminate those charge trapping sites of the oxygen-deficient in disordered overlayer (DL) of WO3 photoanode by inactive pieces of oxygen-rich carbon nitride quantum dots (CNQDs). The “patching” leads to a 1.5-fold enhancement in PEC performance and a 100 mV cathodic shift of onset potential compared to the pre-optimized DL-WO3 photoanode. The remarkably raised charge transfer efficiency from 60% to 87% at 1.23 V vs RHE is an indication of boosting hole transfer. Density function theory (DFT) calculations reveal that DL-WO3/CNQDs produces a stepped valence band alignment together with the removal of charge trapping sites, is capable of overcoming the hole transfer limitation at the photoanode/electrolyte interface. This study might open a window to pursue a simple but highly efficient strategy on modification of solid/liquid interface for solar to fuel conversion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104110
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NRF of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning ( NRF-2019R1A2C3010479 , NRF-2019M1A2A2065612 , NRF-2019M3E6A1064525 ), NSFC ( 51802157 ), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China ( BK20180493 ),  K.-S. Lee acknowledges support by the Nano-Material Fundamental Technology Development program ( 2017M3A7B4049173 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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