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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Surface Passivation on Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Performance of WO3 Vertical Plate-Like Films

College of Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bunsho Ohtani
Catalysts 2015, 5(4), 2024-2038;
Received: 22 October 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Water Splitting-1)
PDF [962 KB, uploaded 24 November 2015]


WO3 vertical plate-like arrays provide a direct pathway for charge transport, and thus hold great potential as working electrodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. However, surface recombination due to surface defects hinders the performance improvement. In this work, WO3 vertical plate-like arrays films with HfO2 passivation layer were fabricated via a simple dip-coating method. In the images of transmission electron microscope, a fluffy layer and some small sphere particles existed on the surface of WO3 plate. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed a higher concentration of Hf element than the result of energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), which means that HfO2 is rich on the surface of WO3 plates. A higher photocurrent under visible light irradiation was gained with surface passivation. Meanwhile, the results of intensity modulated photocurrent spectrum (IMPS) and incident photon to current conversion efficiency (IPCE) indicate that HfO2 passivation layer, acting as a barrier for the interfacial recombination, is responsible for the improved photoelectrochemical performance of WO3 vertical plate-like arrays film. View Full-Text
Keywords: WO3; HfO2; surface passivation; photoelectrochemical performance WO3; HfO2; surface passivation; photoelectrochemical performance

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Yang, Y.; Xie, R.; Liu, Y.; Li, J.; Li, W. Effect of Surface Passivation on Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Performance of WO3 Vertical Plate-Like Films. Catalysts 2015, 5, 2024-2038.

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