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Catalysts 2017, 7(9), 252; doi:10.3390/catal7090252

SnSx (x = 1, 2) Nanocrystals as Effective Catalysts for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

1
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan 710, Taiwan
3
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 81148, Taiwan
4
Center for Micro/Nano Science and Technology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Electrocatalysis)
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Abstract

Two-dimensional SnSx (x = 1, 2) nanocrystals are attractive catalysts for photoelectrochemical water splitting as their components are earth abundant and environmentally friendly. We have fabricated SnS thin-film photoelectrodes by spin coating mixed-phase SnS nanocrystals synthesized via a hot-injection technique on glass/Cr/Au substrates. The obtained SnS thin films can be transformed into SnS2 by introducing structural phase changes via a facile low-vacuum annealing protocol in the presence of sulfur. This sulfurization process enables the insertion of sulfur atoms between layers of SnS and results in the generation of shallow donors that alter the mechanism for water splitting. The SnS2 thin films are used as stable photocatalysts to drive the oxygen evolution reaction, and the light-current density of 0.195 mA/cm2 at 0.8 V vs. Ag/AgCl can be achieved due to the high carrier density, lower charge transfer resistance, and a suitable reaction band position. Based on a combination of UV-Vis spectroscopy (ultraviolet and visible spectroscopy), cyclic voltammetry and Mott–Schottky analysis, the band positions and band gaps of SnS and SnS2 relative to the electrolyte are determined and a detailed mechanism for water splitting is presented. Our results demonstrate the potential of layered tin sulfide compounds as promising photocatalysts for efficient and large-scale water splitting. View Full-Text
Keywords: water splitting; SnS; SnS2; 2-D nanosheets; photoelectrocatalysts water splitting; SnS; SnS2; 2-D nanosheets; photoelectrocatalysts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, P.-C.; Shen, Y.-M.; Brahma, S.; Shaikh, M.O.; Huang, J.-L.; Wang, S.-C. SnSx (x = 1, 2) Nanocrystals as Effective Catalysts for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting. Catalysts 2017, 7, 252.

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