Boosting photoelectrochemical efficiency by near-infrared-active lattice-matched morphological heterojunctions

Guo Qiang Liu, Yuan Yang, Yi Li, Taotao Zhuang, Xu Feng Li, Joshua Wicks, Jie Tian, Min Rui Gao*, Jin Lan Peng, Huan Xin Ju, Liang Wu, Yun Xiang Pan, Lu An Shi, Haiming Zhu, Junfa Zhu, Shu Hong Yu, Edward H. Sargent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Photoelectrochemical catalysis is an attractive way to provide direct hydrogen production from solar energy. However, solar conversion efficiencies are hindered by the fact that light harvesting has so far been of limited efficiency in the near-infrared region as compared to that in the visible and ultraviolet regions. Here we introduce near-infrared-active photoanodes that feature lattice-matched morphological hetero-nanostructures, a strategy that improves energy conversion efficiency by increasing light-harvesting spectral range and charge separation efficiency simultaneously. Specifically, we demonstrate a near-infrared-active morphological heterojunction comprised of BiSeTe ternary alloy nanotubes and ultrathin nanosheets. The heterojunction’s hierarchical nanostructure separates charges at the lattice-matched interface of the two morphological components, preventing further carrier recombination. As a result, the photoanodes achieve an incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency of 36% at 800 nm in an electrolyte solution containing hole scavengers without a co-catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4296
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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