Bismuth oxyhalides: Synthesis, structure and photoelectrochemical activity

Davinder S. Bhachu, Savio J.A. Moniz, Sanjayan Sathasivam, David O. Scanlon, Aron Walsh, Salem M. Bawaked, Mohamed Mokhtar, Abdullah Y. Obaid, Ivan P. Parkin, Junwang Tang, Claire J. Carmalt

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255 Citations (Scopus)


We report the synthesis and photoelectrochemical assessment of phase pure tetragonal matlockite structured BiOX (where X = Cl, Br, I) films. The materials were deposited using aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition. The measured optical bandgaps of the oxyhalides, supported by density functional theory calculations, showed a red shift with the increasing size of halide following the binding energy of the anion p-orbitals that form the valence band. Stability and photoelectrochemical studies carried out without a sacrificial electron donor showed the n-type BiOBr film to have the highest photocurrent reported for BiOBr in the literature to date (0.3 mA cm-2 at 1.23 V vs. RHE), indicating it is an excellent candidate for solar fuel production with a very low onset potential of 0.2 V vs. RHE. The high performance was attributed to the preferred growth of the film in the [011] direction, as shown by X-ray diffraction, leading to internal electric fields that minimize charge carrier recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4832-4841
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry


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