Cobalt phosphate-modified barium-doped tantalum nitride nanorod photoanode with 1.5% solar energy conversion efficiency

Yanbo Li, Li Zhang, Almudena Torres-Pardo, José María González González- Calbet, Yanhang Ma, Peter Oleynikov, Osamu Terasaki, Shunsuke Asahina, Masahide Shima, Dong Kyu Cha, Lan Zhao, Kazuhiro Takanabe, Jun Kubota, Kazunari Domen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations


Spurred by the decreased availability of fossil fuels and global warming, the idea of converting solar energy into clean fuels has been widely recognized. Hydrogen produced by photoelectrochemical water splitting using sunlight could provide a carbon dioxide lean fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels. A major challenge in photoelectrochemical water splitting is to develop an efficient photoanode that can stably oxidize water into oxygen. Here we report an efficient and stable photoanode that couples an active barium-doped tantalum nitride nanostructure with a stable cobalt phosphate co-catalyst. The effect of barium doping on the photoelectrochemical activity of the photoanode is investigated. The photoanode yields a maximum solar energy conversion efficiency of 1.5%, which is more than three times higher than that of state-of-the-art single-photon photoanodes. Further, stoichiometric oxygen and hydrogen are stably produced on the photoanode and the counter electrode with Faraday efficiency of almost unity for 100 min. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 3 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research (23000009) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program (ALCA) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Y.L. acknowledges support from JSPS as a postdoctoral fellow. P.O. and O.T. acknowledge VR, EXSELENT and 3DEM-NATUR, Sweden and WCU(R-31-2008-000-10055-0, Korea) for support. J.M.G.-C. and A. T.-P. acknowledge financial support by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (MAT2011-23068 and CSD2009-00013) and facilities provided by the National Centre for Electron Microscopy (UCM, Spain). Research by A. T.-P. has been also supported by a PICATA postdoctoral fellowship of the Moncloa Campus of International Excellence (UCM).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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