Title: Nanostructured ZnO for photoelectrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen: swift heavy ion irradiation vis-a-vis dye-sensitisation

Authors: Rohit Shrivastav, Monika Gupta, Vidhika Sharma, Pushpendra Kumar, Jaya Shrivastava, Anjana Solanki, Vibha R. Satsangi, Sahab Dass

Addresses: Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Physics and Computer Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India. ' Department of Chemistry, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, India

Abstract: Nanostructured ZnO is a promising material for solar light driven photoelectrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen. With a band gap around 3.3 eV, it can easily generate required photopotential for electrolysis of water. However, its high band gap does not permit efficient absorption of solar light. To overcome this limitation, several approaches are being tried. A popular approach is its sensitisation with a dye having λ max in the visible region. In an innovative approach, authors irradiated sol-gel derived nanostructured ZnO films by 120 MeV Ag9+ ions to induce structural defects that might shift absorption threshold in the visible region. This report presents, with regard to PEC splitting of water, a comparison of SHI irradiated vis-a-vis dye-sensitised films of ZnO. Films were subjected to XRD, SEM and Mott-Schottky analysis and optical characterisation. For PEC studies, these were used in conjunction with Pt counter electrode, saturated calomel reference electrode and 150 W Xenon arc light source.

Keywords: solar hydrogen production; photoelectrochemical splitting; water splitting; nanomaterials; anostructures; ZnO; zinc oxide; electrolysis; sensitisation; dye sensitised films; heavy ion irradiation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNP.2011.040512

International Journal of Nanoparticles, 2011 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.248 - 267

Published online: 13 Mar 2015 *

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