Three-Dimensional Undoped Crystalline SnO2 Nanodendrite Arrays Enable Efficient Charge Separation in BiVO4/SnO2 Heterojunction Photoanodes for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Shih Yu Chen, Jih Sheng Yang, Jih Jen Wu

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Instead of using the doped SnO2 nanostructured scaffolds as transparent conducting electrodes, in this work, a three-dimensional (3D) undoped crystalline SnO2 nanodendrite (ND) array is developed on fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate to be the scaffold of the visible-light-driven photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. The performances of the undoped SnO2 nanorod (NR) and ND arrays are investigated by the formation of staggered (type-II) heterojunction photoanodes using BiVO4 as a model photocatalyst. The hole-scavenger-assisted PEC measurements indicate that the charge separation efficiencies of 88% and 55% are respectively obtained in the 3D BiVO4/SnO2 ND array and one-dimensional BiVO4/SnO2 NR array photoanodes at 1.2 V vs the reversible hydrogen electrode under front illumination (through electrolyte to photoanode). We suggest that the presence of SnO2 branches in the BiVO4/SnO2 ND array increases the volumes of the depletion regions in both BiVO4/SnO2 heterojunction and BiVO4/electrolyte heterojunction compared to the BiVO4/SnO2 NR array, resulting in the enhanced charge separation efficiency and photocurrent density in the BiVO4/SnO2 ND array photoanode. The results demonstrate that the 3D undoped crystalline SnO2 ND array is a promising semiconductor core scaffold to couple with the visible-light-driven photocatalyst shell for the formation of the type-II heterojunction photoanode with superior charge separation efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2143-2149
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 29

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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