A WO3-x/TiO2-x nanotube array (NTA) heterojunction photoanode was strategically designed to improve photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) performance by establishing a synergistic vacancy-induced self-doping effect and localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect of metalloid non-stoichiometric tungsten suboxide. The WO3-x/TiO2-x NTA heterojunction photoanode was synthesized through a successive process of anodic oxidation to form TiO2 nanotube arrays, magnetron sputtering to deposit metalloid WO3-x, and post-hydrogen reduction to engender oxygen vacancy in TiO2-x as well as crystallization. On the merits of such a synergistic effect, WO3-x/TiO2-x shows higher light-harvesting ability, stronger photocurrent response, and resultant improved photoelectrocatalytic performance than the contrast of WO3-x/TiO2, WO3/TiO2 and TiO2, confirming the importance of oxygen vacancies in improving PEC performance. Theoretical calculation based on density functional theory was applied to investigate the electronic structural features of samples and reveal how the oxygen vacancy determines the optical property. The carrier density tuning mechanism and charge transfer model were considered to be associated with the synergistic effect of self-doping and metalloid LSPR effect in the WO3-x/TiO2-x NTA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry