Mo-doped TiO2 photoanodes using [Ti4Mo2O8(OEt)10]2 bimetallic oxo cages as a single source precursor

Miriam Regue Grino, Katherine Armstrong, Dominic Walsh, Emma Richards, Andrew Johnson, Salvador Eslava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photoelectrochemical solar water splitting is a promising and sustainable technology for producing solar fuels such as clean hydrogen from water. A widely studied photoanode semiconductor for this application is TiO2, but it suffers from a large band gap (3.2 eV) and fast recombination of electrons and
holes. Herein, we present a novel, facile and rapid strategy to develop Mo-doped TiO2 (Mo:TiO2) mixed anatase–rutile photoanodes using [Ti4Mo2O8(OEt)10]2 bimetallic oxo cages as a single source precursor. These cages dissolved in tetrahydrofuran deposit by spray pyrolysis at 150 C forming films with
hierarchical porosity on the micrometer and nanometer scale. XPS, EDXS and UV-Vis spectroscopy reveal Mo atoms evaporate during annealing in air at temperatures 650–800 C, contributing to the formation of nanostructures and porosity. XPS depth profiling, XRD, EDXS, Raman, and electron paramagnetic resonance indicate that the remaining Mo atoms are well spread and incorporated in the TiO2 lattice, at interstitial or substitutional sites of the rutile or anatase phases depending on the annealing temperature. Photocurrent measurements show that Mo:TiO2 photoanodes optimized at 700 C outperform a TiO2 photoanode prepared in a similar manner by a factor of two at 1.23 VRHE. Finally, UV-Vis spectroscopy, conduction and valence band calculations, and incident-to-photon efficiency measurements show these Mo:TiO2 photoanodes possess a narrower band gap than TiO2 and higher efficiency in the visible light range (5% at 400 nm). These outcomes open a new avenue in the
exploitation of titanium oxo cages and advance the development of hotoelectrodes for water splitting and energy applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2674-2686
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Energy & Fuels
Volume2
Issue number12
Early online date19 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2018

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