Photoelectrochemical water splitting enhanced by self-assembled metal nanopillars embedded in an oxide semiconductor photoelectrode

Seiji Kawasaki, Ryota Takahashi, Takahisa Yamamoto, Masaki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Kumigashira, Jun Yoshinobu, Fumio Komori, Akihiko Kudo, Mikk Lippmaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Production of chemical fuels by direct solar energy conversion in a photoelectrochemical cell is of great practical interest for developing a sustainable energy system. Various nanoscale designs such as nanowires, nanotubes, heterostructures and nanocomposites have been explored to increase the energy conversion efficiency of photoelectrochemical water splitting. Here we demonstrate a self-organized nanocomposite material concept for enhancing the efficiency of photocarrier separation and electrochemical energy conversion. Mechanically robust photoelectrodes are formed by embedding self-assembled metal nanopillars in a semiconductor thin film, forming tubular Schottky junctions around each pillar. The photocarrier transport efficiency is strongly enhanced in the Schottky space charge regions while the pillars provide an efficient charge extraction path. Ir-doped SrTiO 3 with embedded iridium metal nanopillars shows good operational stability in a water oxidation reaction and achieves over 80% utilization of photogenerated carriers under visible light in the 400- to 600-nm wavelength range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11818
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 3
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Photoelectrochemical water splitting enhanced by self-assembled metal nanopillars embedded in an oxide semiconductor photoelectrode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this