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Open AccessArticle

Improved Charge Separation in WO3/CuWO4 Composite Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation

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Singapore-Berkeley Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy (SinBeRISE), CREATE Tower, 1 Create Way, #11-00, 138602 Singapore
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School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, 639798 Singapore
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School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, 637459 Singapore
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Deepak Pant
Materials 2016, 9(5), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9050348
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2016 / Accepted: 29 April 2016 / Published: 7 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Renewable Energy Conversion Materials)
Porous tungsten oxide/copper tungstate (WO3/CuWO4) composite thin films were fabricated via a facile in situ conversion method, with a polymer templating strategy. Copper nitrate (Cu(NO3)2) solution with the copolymer surfactant Pluronic®F-127 (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA, generic name, poloxamer 407) was loaded onto WO3 substrates by programmed dip coating, followed by heat treatment in air at 550 °C. The Cu2+ reacted with the WO3 substrate to form the CuWO4 compound. The composite WO3/CuWO4 thin films demonstrated improved photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance over WO3 and CuWO4 single phase photoanodes. The factors of light absorption and charge separation efficiency of the composite and two single phase films were investigated to understand the reasons for the PEC enhancement of WO3/CuWO4 composite thin films. The photocurrent was generated from water splitting as confirmed by hydrogen and oxygen gas evolution, and Faradic efficiency was calculated based on the amount of H2 produced. This work provides a low-cost and controllable method to prepare WO3-metal tungstate composite thin films, and also helps to deepen the understanding of charge transfer in WO3/CuWO4 heterojunction. View Full-Text
Keywords: CuWO4; WO3; composite thin film; charge separation; photoelectrochemical water splitting CuWO4; WO3; composite thin film; charge separation; photoelectrochemical water splitting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, D.; Bassi, P.S.; Qi, H.; Zhao, X.; Gurudayal; Wong, L.H.; Xu, R.; Sritharan, T.; Chen, Z. Improved Charge Separation in WO3/CuWO4 Composite Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation. Materials 2016, 9, 348.

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