Recent density-functional theory calculations suggest that codoping TiO 2 with donor-acceptor pairs is more effective than monodoping for improving photoelectrochemical water-splitting performance because codoping can reduce charge recombination, improve material quality, enhance light absorption and increase solubility limits of dopants. Here we report a novel ex-situ method to codope TiO2 with tungsten and carbon (W, C) by sequentially annealing W-precursor-coated TiO2 nanowires in flame and carbon monoxide gas. The unique advantages of flame annealing are that the high temperature (>1,000°C) and fast heating rate of flame enable rapid diffusion of W into TiO2 without damaging the nanowire morphology and crystallinity. This is the first experimental demonstration that codoped TiO2:(W, C) nanowires outperform monodoped TiO2:W and TiO2:C and double the saturation photocurrent of undoped TiO2 for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Such significant performance enhancement originates from a greatly improved electrical conductivity and activity for oxygen-evolution reaction due to the synergistic effects of codoping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)