One-Dimensional TiO2@GaON Core-Shell Nanowires with Controlled Shell Thickness from Atomic Layer Deposition for Stable and Efficient Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

As a promising oxygen evolution reaction semiconductor, TiO2 has been extensively investigated for solar photoelectrochemical water splitting. Here, a highly efficient and stable strategy for rationally preparing GaON cocatalysts on TiO2 by atomic layer deposition is demonstrated, which we show significantly enhances the
photoelectrochemical performance compared to TiO2-based photoanodes. For TiO2@20 nm-GaON core-shell nanowires a photocurrent density up to 1.10 mA cm-2 (1.23 V vs RHE) under AM 1.5 G irradiation (100 mW cm-2) has been achieved, which is 14 times higher than that of TiO2 NWs. Furthermore, the oxygen vacancy formation on GaON as well as the band gap matching with TiO2 not only provides more active sites for water oxidation but also enhances light absorption to promote interfacial charge separation and migration. Density functional theory studies of model systems of GaON-modified TiO2 confirm the band gap reduction, high reducibility and ability to activate water. The highly efficient and stable systems of TiO2@GaON core-shell nanowires provide a deeper understanding and universal strategy for enhancing photoelectrochemical performance of photoanodes now available.