A gold-coupled ZnTe/ZnO-nanowire array is a new photocathode for selective CO2 reduction to CO. At -0.7 VRHE under simulated 1 sun illumination, its photocurrent (-16.0 mA cm-2) and incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (97%) represent the highest among reported ZnTe photocathodes for CO2 reduction and dramatic enhancement from those of a bare electrode (-7.9 mA cm-2, 68%). In addition, the Au nanoparticles convert mainly-hydrogen-producing bare ZnTe/ZnO-nanowires into mainly-CO-producing photocathodes in photoelectrochemical CO2 reduction. The remarkable effects of the Au co-catalyst originate from the formation of a Schottky junction with ZnTe to improve charge separation and to provide reaction centers for CO2 reduction suppressing competing water reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering