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Double-Sided CdS and CdSe Quantum Dot Co-Sensitized ZnO Nanowire Arrays for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Generation

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journal contribution
posted on 10.03.2010, 00:00 by Gongming Wang, Xunyu Yang, Fang Qian, Jin Z. Zhang, Yat Li
We report the design and characterization of a novel double-sided CdS and CdSe quantum dot cosensitized ZnO nanowire arrayed photoanode for photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen generation. The double-sided design represents a simple analogue of tandem cell structure, in which the dense ZnO nanowire arrays were grown on an indium−tin oxide substrate followed by respective sensitization of CdS and CdSe quantum dots on each side. As-fabricated photoanode exhibited strong absorption in nearly the entire visible spectrum up to 650 nm, with a high incident-photon-to-current-conversion efficiency (IPCE) of ∼45% at 0 V vs Ag/AgCl. On the basis on a single white light illumination of 100 mW/cm2, the photoanode yielded a significant photocurrent density of ∼12 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V vs Ag/AgCl. The photocurrent and IPCE were enhanced compared to single quantum dot sensitized structures as a result of the band alignment of CdS and CdSe in electrolyte. Moreover, in comparison to single-sided cosensitized layered structures, this double-sided architecture that enables direct interaction between quantum dot and nanowire showed improved charge collection efficiency. Our result represents the first double-sided nanowire photoanode that integrates uniquely two semiconductor quantum dots of distinct band gaps for PEC hydrogen generation and can be possibly applied to other applications such as nanostructured tandem photovoltaic cells.

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