Plasmon-enhanced light-driven water oxidation by a dye-sensitized photoanode

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Sep 12;114(37):9809-9813. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708336114. Epub 2017 Aug 28.


Dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECs) provide a flexible approach for solar water splitting based on the integration of molecular light absorption and catalysis on oxide electrodes. Recent advances in this area, including the use of core/shell oxide interfacial structures and surface stabilization by atomic layer deposition, have led to improved charge-separation lifetimes and the ability to obtain substantially improved photocurrent densities. Here, we investigate the introduction of Ag nanoparticles into the core/shell structure and report that they greatly enhance light-driven water oxidation at a DSPEC photoanode. Under 1-sun illumination, Ag nanoparticle electrodes achieved high photocurrent densities, surpassing 2 mA cm-2 with an incident photon-to-current efficiency of 31.8% under 450-nm illumination.

Keywords: DSPEC; atomic layer deposition; core/shell; plasmonic; water oxidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.