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Surfactant-Free, Large-Scale, Solution–Liquid–Solid Growth of Gallium Phosphide Nanowires and Their Use for Visible-Light-Driven Hydrogen Production from Water Reduction

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 12:10 by Jianwei Sun, Chong Liu, Peidong Yang
Colloidal GaP nanowires (NWs) were synthesized on a large scale by a surfactant-free, self-seeded solution–liquid–solid (SLS) method using triethylgallium and tris(trimethylsilyl)phosphine as precursors and a noncoordinating squalane solvent. Ga nanoscale droplets were generated in situ by thermal decomposition of the Ga precursor and subsequently promoted the NW growth. The GaP NWs were not intentionally doped and showed a positive open-circuit photovoltage based on photoelectrochemical measurements. Purified GaP NWs were used for visible-light-driven water splitting. Upon photodeposition of Pt nanoparticles on the wire surfaces, significantly enhanced hydrogen production was observed. The results indicate that colloidal surfactant-free GaP NWs combined with potent surface electrocatalysts could serve as promising photocathodes for artificial photosynthesis.