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3D nanostructured WO₃/BiVO₄ heterojunction derived from Papilio paris for efficient water splitting

Yin, Chao, Zhu, Shenmin, Zhang, Di
RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.44 pp. 27354-27360
Papilio, X-ray diffraction, absorption, irradiation, light, oxygen production, photocatalysis, scanning electron microscopy, sol-gel processing, tungsten oxide
We report on a novel butterfly wing-like WO₃/BiVO₄ heterojunction for photocatalytic water splitting, in which BiVO₄ is the primary visible light-absorber and WO₃ acts as an electron conductor. The heterojunction, which is prepared by a one-step sol–gel method, achieves high light absorption and charge separation efficiencies, even without a sacrificial agent, and produces a photocatalytic O₂ evolution of 20 μmol h⁻¹ mg⁻¹ under visible light irradiation (λ > 420 nm) and an incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency of ∼10% at 380–450 nm, both at a potential of 1.23 V versus RHE. Compared to planar WO₃/BiVO₄ heterojunction, the 3D nanostructured WO₃/BiVO₄ heterojunction shows significantly improved photocatalytic performance due to the quasi-honeycomb structure inherited from the Papilio paris and the efficient separation of the photogenerated charge at the WO₃/BiVO₄ interface. Synthesis details are discussed, with heterojunction morphologies and structures characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.