Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution from Substoichiometric Colloidal WO3- x Nanowires

Taejong Paik, Matteo Cargnello, Thomas R. Gordon, Sen Zhang, Hongseok Yun, Jennifer D. Lee, Ho Young Woo, Soong Ju Oh, Cherie R. Kagan, Paolo Fornasiero, Christopher B. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


We report direct photocatalytic hydrogen evolution from substoichiometric highly reduced tungsten oxide (WOx) nanowires (NWs) using sacrificial alcohol. WOx NWs are synthesized via nonaqueous colloidal synthesis with a diameter of about 4 nm and an average length of about 250 nm. As-synthesized WOx NWs exhibit a broad absorption across the visible to infrared regions attributed to the presence of oxygen vacancies. The optical band gap is increased in these WOx NWs compared to stoichiometric bulk tungsten oxide (WO3) powders as a result of the Burstein-Moss shift. As a consequence of this increase, we demonstrate direct photocatalytic hydrogen production from WOx NWs through alcohol photoreforming. The stable H2 evolution on platinized WOx NWs is observed under conditions in which platinized bulk WO3 and bulk WO2.9 powders either do not show activity or show very low rates, suggesting that increased surface area and specific exposed facets are key for the improved performance of WOx NWs. This work demonstrates that control of size and composition can lead to unexpected and beneficial changes in the photocatalytic properties of semiconductor materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1904-1910
Number of pages7
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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