Separation Effect of Photogenerated Charges on Photocatalyst Facets Confirmed by our Scientists

The DNL research team “photocatalysis of solar energy”, led by Prof. Can Li, has confirmed recently that charge separation of photogenerated electrons and holes could be realized on different crystal planes of semiconductor-based photocatalysts. Their results were published in the newly appearing Nature-Communication ncomms/journal/v4/n2/full/ ncomms2401.html).

Charge separation is crucial for photocatalysts. For the sake of constructing more efficient charge separation systems, a series of work have been done by the Can Li team of DNL. On the basis of previous studies, BiVO4, a semi-conductor material with regularly exposed crystal planes, was chosen as the model catalyst. By depositing oxidizing co-catalyst and reducing cocatalyst on different exposed facets, it was found that they showed different oxidation and reduction properties. Thus, they observed in experiments that photoreduction could occur selectively over noble-metal deposition on the {010} plane, whilst photooxidation was able to take place selectively over metal oxide deposition on the {110} facet. In this way, they have confirmed the separation effect of photogenerated charges on different crystal lanes of BiVO4. Moreover, they also confirmed that this selective deposition of oxidizing and reducing cocatalyst on different facets could remarkably increase the photocatalytic activity of the catalyst, thus providing new tactics for designing and constructing highly efficient solar energy transformation systems.

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