A TiO2/FeMnP Core/Shell Nanorod Array Photoanode for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Oxygen Evolution
A variety of catalysts have recently been developed for electrocatalytic oxygen evolution, but very few of them can be readily integrated with semiconducting light absorbers for photoelectrochemical or photocatalytic water splitting. Here, we demonstrate an efficient core/shell photoanode with a highly active oxygen evolution electrocatalyst shell (FeMnP) and semiconductor core (rutile TiO2) for photoelectrochemical oxygen evolution reaction. Metal–organic chemical vapor deposition from a single-source precursor was used to ensure good contact between the FeMnP and the TiO2. The TiO2/FeMnP core/shell photoanode reaches the theoretical photocurrent density for rutile TiO2 of 1.8 mA cm–2 at 1.23 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode under simulated 100 mW cm–2 (1 sun) irradiation. The dramatic enhancement is a result of the synergistic effects of the high oxygen evolution reaction activity of FeMnP (delivering an overpotential of 300 mV with a Tafel slope of 65 mV dec–1 in 1 M KOH) and the conductive interlayer between the surface active sites and semiconductor core which boosts the interfacial charge transfer and photocarrier collection. The facile fabrication of the TiO2/FeMnP core/shell nanorod array photoanode offers a compelling strategy for preparing highly efficient photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion devices.