Tungsten trioxide/bismuth vanadate heterojunction is one of the best pairs for solar water splitting, but its photocurrent densities are insufficient. Here we investigate the advantages of using helical nanostructures in photoelectrochemical solar water splitting. A helical tungsten trioxide array is fabricated on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate, followed by subsequent coating with bismuth vanadate/catalyst. A maximum photocurrent density of ~5.35±0.15 mA cm−2 is achieved at 1.23 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode, and related hydrogen and oxygen evolution is also observed from this heterojunction. Theoretical simulations and analyses are performed to verify the advantages of this helical structure. The combination of effective light scattering, improved charge separation and transportation, and an enlarged contact surface area with electrolytes due to the use of the bismuth vanadate-decorated tungsten trioxide helical nanostructures leads to the highest reported photocurrent density to date at 1.23 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode, to the best of our knowledge.
Nature Comm, 5, 4775 (2014)
Efficient photoelectrochemical hydrogen production from bismuth vanadate-decorated tungsten trioxide helix nanostructures