Al-doped ZnO (AZO) nanorod arrays thin film with hydrogen treatment is directly used as a photoelectrode for solar water splitting without an extra transparent conducting oxide (TCO) thin film because it possesses the functions of TCO thin film and photoactive 1-dimensional nanostructured semiconductor simultaneously. To enhance the absorption in the visible region, PbS nanoparticles decorated the AZO nanorods via successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction route. The PbS nanoparticles have a face-centered cubic structure and their decoration does not destroy the 1-dimensional morphology of AZO nanorod arrays. With increasing the cycle number of PbS nanoparticles decoration, the grain size and loading of PbS nanoparticles become larger gradually which leads to lower energy bandgap and stronger absorption. A maximum photocurrent density of 1.65 mW cm-2 is obtained when the cycle number is 20, which is much higher than those without PbS nanoparticles sensitization or hydrogen treatment. This demonstrates that the AZO nanorod array thin film with hydrogen treatment can be directly used as a photoelectrode without an extra TCO thin film. Because the use of expensive metals can be avoided and the pre-fabrication of TCO thin film substrate is necessary no more, the fabrication of such a composite photoelectrode becomes simple and low-cost. So, it has great potentials in solar water splitting after sensitization by quantum dots capable of visible light absorption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry