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Materials 2016, 9(11), 937; doi:10.3390/ma9110937

Efficient Solar-Induced Photoelectrochemical Response Using Coupling Semiconductor TiO2-ZnO Nanorod Film

Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), 3rd Floor, Block A, Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Academic Editors: Jiyoung Kim and Lanxia Cheng
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract

Efficient solar driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) response by enhancing charge separation has attracted great interest in the hydrogen generation application. The formation of one-dimensional ZnO nanorod structure without bundling is essential for high efficiency in PEC response. In this present research work, ZnO nanorod with an average 500 nm in length and average diameter of about 75 nm was successfully formed via electrodeposition method in 0.05 mM ZnCl2 and 0.1 M KCl electrolyte at 1 V for 60 min under 70 °C condition. Continuous efforts have been exerted to further improve the solar driven PEC response by incorporating an optimum content of TiO2 into ZnO nanorod using dip-coating technique. It was found that 0.25 at % of TiO2 loaded on ZnO nanorod film demonstrated a maximum photocurrent density of 19.78 mA/cm2 (with V vs. Ag/AgCl) under UV illumination and 14.75 mA/cm2 (with V vs. Ag/AgCl) under solar illumination with photoconversion efficiency ~2.9% (UV illumination) and ~4.3% (solar illumination). This performance was approximately 3–4 times higher than ZnO film itself. An enhancement of photocurrent density and photoconversion efficiency occurred due to the sufficient Ti element within TiO2-ZnO nanorod film, which acted as an effective mediator to trap the photo-induced electrons and minimize the recombination of charge carriers. Besides, phenomenon of charge-separation effect at type-II band alignment of Zn and Ti could further enhance the charge carrier transportation during illumination. View Full-Text
Keywords: TiO2-ZnO composite thin film; ZnO nanorod; TiO2 nanoparticles; photocurrent response TiO2-ZnO composite thin film; ZnO nanorod; TiO2 nanoparticles; photocurrent response
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Abd Samad, N.A.; Lai, C.W.; Lau, K.S.; Abd Hamid, S.B. Efficient Solar-Induced Photoelectrochemical Response Using Coupling Semiconductor TiO2-ZnO Nanorod Film. Materials 2016, 9, 937.

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