A large-area fabrication of moth-eye patterned Au/TiO2 gap-plasmon structure and its application to plasmonic solar water splitting

Junho Jun, Heejun Kim, Hak Jong Choi, Tae Won Lee, Sucheol Ju, Jeong Min Baik, Heon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


TiO2 is promising candidate for solar water splitting material. To enhance the insufficient absorption range of TiO2, TiO2 decorated with Au nanoparticles(AuNPs) structure have been studied intensively. This plasmonic approach can extend absorption range to visible light, but its incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency is still insufficient. Therefore, it is important to amplify surface plasmon resonance, obtained by using AuNPs. At the same time, for application to next-generation energy device, the way to improve this plasmonic effect needs to be available to large area fabrication, high reproducibility, low cost and so on. In this study, we successfully fabricated a three-dimensional (3D) moth-eye AuNP/TiO2/Au hierarchical structure for water splitting via direct printing method and deposition process. The proposed structure can effectively intensify the light–matter interaction owing to two mechanisms: Photonic mode light trapping attributed by moth-eye structure and enhanced surface plasmon resonance by gap-plasmon structure. Moth-eye structure, densely packed subwavelength-nanocone array, was easily fabricated by direct printing method. Using this moth-eye structure as a template, we effectively fabricated 3D moth-eye patterned gap-plasmon structure on 5 × 5 cm2. Compared with the two-dimensional (2D) AuNP/TiO2/Au absorber, the 3D moth-eye type absorber has higher absorption in entire 300–800 nm range. In accordance with this result, the 3D moth-eye absorber provides a photocurrent density of approximately 52.82 μA cm−2, which is approximately 2.3 times higher than that of the flat 2D TiO2/Au thin film (22.96 μA cm−2). Notably, it exhibits extraordinary enhancement of the photocurrent density—from 1.5 to 22.51 μA cm−2—in the visible range (≥420 nm).

Original languageEnglish
Article number110033
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Creative Materials Discovery Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by Ministry of Science and ICT ( NRF-2018M3D1A1058972 ). This work was supported by the Materials and Components Technology Development Program program of MOTIE/KEIT . ( 10080352 , Development of polymer-based adhesive light concentration film for solar cell with 85% light transmittance, 1m2 area)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Gap-plasmon structure
  • Moth-eye structure
  • Photoanode
  • Plasmonic absorber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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