Facile Surfactant-Assisted Synthesis of BiVO4 Nanoparticulate Films for Solar Water Splitting
Laura Montañés a, Camilo A. Mesa a, Ana Gutiérrez-Blanco a, Christian Robles a, Beatriz Julián-López a, Sixto Giménez a
a Institute of Advanced Materials (INAM), Universitat Jaume I (UJI), Avenida de Vicent Sos Baynat s/n, Castelló de la Plana, Spain
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT)
València, Spain, 2021 November 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Elena Mas Marzá and Ward van der Stam
Poster, Laura Montañés, 012
Publication date: 10th November 2021

The capture of solar energy and its direct conversion into chemical energy using artificial photosystems is one of the most promising routes to provide the global demand for energy in a sustainable way. Among the different existing approaches, the photoelectrochemical energy conversion (PEC) has attracted considerable interest for solar energy storage through the formation of chemical bonds in form of dihydrogen molecules or carbon-based fuels. [1] These systems are normally based on semiconductors that absorb solar energy, that is, photoanodes (photooxidation reaction) and photocathodes (photoreduction reaction), coupled to catalyst and connected by an aqueous electrolyte. However, the main challenge lies in the lack of efficient, inexpensive, stable and scalable semiconductors, particularly in the photoanode, where the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) takes place.

Metal oxides are the most studied as photoanodes since they have a valence band with a thermodynamically favourable energy for the OER. Numerous types of semiconductors have been tested, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2), hematite (α-Fe2O3), bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) and tungsten trioxide (WO3) among others. [2] Bismuth vanadate (BiVO4), has attracted attention in the last two decades as one of the most robust, efficient, and inexpensive photoanode for water electrolysis. BiVO4 is characterized by having a bandgap of 2.4 eV, allowing it to absorb a greater amount of solar energy compared to the previously mentioned oxides. [3]

In this poster, I will present a novel synthesis to obtain bismuth vanadate nanoparticles using a surfactant as distribution agent and to control the size. This synthesis offers the advantage of being carried out at low temperature, in an aqueous medium and using inexpensive precursors. These nanoparticles provide a high surface area in addition to multiple photoelectrodes designs to obtain efficient devices.

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