Enhanced Water Splitting at Thin Film Tungsten Trioxide Photoanodes Bearing Plasmonic Gold–Polyoxometalate Particles

Solarska R., Bienkowski K., Zoladek S., Majcher A., Stefaniuk T., Kulesza P.J. and Augustynski J.

Angewandte Chemie-International Edition

53 (51), 2014, 14196–14200, 10.1002/anie.201408374

Tungsten trioxide (WO3) is one of a few stable semiconductor materials liable to produce solar fuel by photoelectrochemical water splitting. To enhance its visible light conversion efficiency, we incorporated plasmonic gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) derivatized with polyoxometalate (H3PMo12O40) species into WO3. The combined plasmonic and catalytic effect of Au NPs anchored to the WO3 surface resulted in a large increase of water photooxidation currents. Shielding the Au NPs with polyoxometalates appears to be an effective means to avoid formation of recombination centers at the photoanode surface.