Electrosprayed BiVO4 nanopillars coated with atomic-layer-deposited ZnO/TiO2 as highly efficient photoanodes for solar water splitting

Min Woo Kim, Karam Kim, Tae Yoon Ohm, Hyun Yoon, Bhavana Joshi, Edmund Samuel, Mark T. Swihart, Sung Kyu Choi, Hyunwoong Park, Sam S. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


We report the fabrication and the performance in photoelectrochemical water splitting of thin films of electrostatically sprayed nanotextured bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) pillars coated with thin ZnO/TiO2 passivation layers formed by atomic layer deposition. The thin ZnO and TiO2 layers deposited on the BiVO4 nanopillars formed a heterostructure that promoted electron–hole separation and the migration of electrons toward the ITO substrate. The photocurrent density (PCD) of the ZnO/TiO2 coated BiVO4 was 2.5 times higher (2.25 mA/cm2 at 1.2 V (versus Ag/AgCl)) than that of pristine BiVO4 (0.9 mA/cm2 at 1.2 V (versus Ag/AgCl)). We present incident/absorbed photon-to-current efficiency and electrochemical impedance measurements confirming that this improvement is a result of the heterojunction produced by the conformal ZnO/TiO2 coating and discuss the mechanism of this dramatic enhancement of PCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-729
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning ( NRF-2016M1A2A2936760 , NRF-2013M3A6B1078879 , and NRF-2017R1A2B4005639 ) – Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Bismuth vanadate nanopillar
  • Heterostructure
  • Photoanode
  • Photocurrent density
  • Water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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