Enhancing interfacial charge transfer in a WO3/BiVO4photoanode heterojunction through gallium and tungsten co-doping and a sulfur modified Bi2O3interfacial layer

Umesh Prasad, James L. Young, Justin C. Johnson, Deborah L. McGott, Hengfei Gu, Eric Garfunkel, Arunachala M. Kannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Photoanodes containing a WO3/BiVO4heterojunction have demonstrated promising photoelectrochemical water splitting performance, but the ability to effectively passivate the WO3/BiVO4interface has limited charge transport and collection. Here, the WO3/BiVO4interface is passivated with a sulfur-modified Bi2O3interfacial layer with a staggered band edge alignment to facilitate charge transfer and lifetime. Additionally, BiVO4was co-doped with Ga3+at Bi3+sites and W6+at V5+sites (i.e., (Ga,W):BiVO4) to improve the light absorption and photogenerated charge carrier concentration. The optimized WO3/S:Bi2O3/(Ga,W):BiVO4photoanode exhibited a photocurrent density of 4.0 ± 0.2 mA cm−2compared to WO3/(Ga,W):BiVO4with 2.8 ± 0.12 mA cm−2at 1.23 VRHEin K2HPO4under simulated AM 1.5G illumination. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopic analysis of the WO3/S:Bi2O3/(Ga,W):BiVO4electrode validated the enhanced interfacial charge transfer kinetics. Inoperandofemto- and nano-second transient absorption spectroscopy confirmed the presence of long-lived photogenerated charge carriers and revealed lower recombination initially due to rapid charge separation of WO3/S:Bi2O3/(Ga,W):BiVO4. The distribution and role of sulfur was further investigated using EDAX, XPS and TOF-SIMS depth profiling. Finally, a Co-Pi co-catalyst layer was added to achieve a photocurrent of 5.1 ± 0.25 mA cm−2and corresponding H2generation rate of 67.3 μmol h−1cm−2for the WO3/S:Bi2O3/(Ga,W):BiVO4/Co-Pi photoanode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16137-16149
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Issue number29
StatePublished - Aug 7 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


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