Solar-Light-Driven Pure Water Splitting with Ultrathin BiOCl Nanosheets

Ling Zhang, Zhongkang Han, Wenzhong Wang, Xiaoman Li, Yang Su, Dong Jiang, Xiaoling Lei, Songmei Sun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A suitable photocatalyst for overall water splitting has been produced by overcoming the disadvantage of the band structure in bulk BiOCl by reducing the thickness to the quantum scale. The ultrathin BiOCl nanosheets with surface/subsurface defects realized the solar-driven pure water splitting in the absence of any co-catalysts or sacrificial agent. These surface defects cannot only shift both the valence band and conduction band upwards for band-gap narrowing but also promote charge-carrier separation. The amount of defects in the outer layer surface of BiOCl results in an enhancement of carrier density and faster charge transport. First-principles calculations provide clear evidence that the formation of surface oxygen vacancies is easier for the ultrathin BiOCl nanosheets than for its thicker counterpart. These defects can serve as active sites to effectively adsorb and dissociate H2O molecules, resulting in a significantly improved water-splitting performance. Bring a little sun! A suitable photocatalyst for overall water splitting has been produced by overcoming the disadvantage of the band structure in bulk BiOCl by reducing the thickness to the quantum scale. The ultrathin BiOCl nanosheets with surface/subsurface defects realized the solar-driven pure water splitting in the absence of any co-catalysts or sacrificial agent (see figure).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18089-18094
    Number of pages6
    JournalChemistry - A European Journal
    Volume21
    Issue number50
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Catalysis
    • Organic Chemistry

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