Supersonically sprayed Zn2SnO4/SnO2/carbon nanotube films for high-efficiency water splitting photoanodes

Tae Gun Kim, Edmund Samuel, Chan Woo Park, Bhavana Joshi, Min Woo Kim, Mark T. Swihart, Sam S. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the supersonic cold-spray deposition of a Zn2SnO4/SnO2/carbon nanotube (CNT) composite as an exceptionally high-performance photoanode for photoelectrochemical water splitting. We optimized the photoanode thickness (number of deposition passes) and composition to achieve a maximum photocurrent density of 17.2 mA cm−2 at 1.78 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode, with no additional catalysts or additives. The morphology of the deposited films, as characterized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, comprises CNTs intermingled with Zn2SnO4 and SnO2 nanoparticles. The high electron concentration and charge transfer rate achieved by adding CNTs are demonstrated through Mott–Schottky and Nyquist analyses of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data. While we find no prior reports of Zn2SnO4/SnO2/CNT nanocomposites for water splitting, we demonstrate that this combination of ball-milled Zn2SnO4/SnO2 nanoparticles mixed with CNTs is a promising candidate for high-performance solar water splitting with dramatically enhanced performance compared to previously-reported ZnO- and SnO-based photoanodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154374
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • SnO
  • Supersonic cold spray
  • Water splitting
  • ZnSnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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