ZnO@S-doped ZnO core/shell nanocomposites for highly efficient solar water splitting

Chao Wang, Yajuan Feng, Liang Cai, Xiaoyu Yang, Jingfu He, Wensheng Yan*, Qinghua Liu, Zhihu Sun, Fengchun Hu, Zhi Xie, Tao Yao, Shiqiang Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Prohibiting the rapid holes recombination is a key issue for designing highly efficient photoelectrodes for solar water splitting. Here, we propose a strategy incorporating S atoms in the surface shell of ZnO nanoparticles to generate holes trapper for restraining the electron-hole recombination. The obtained ZnO@S-doped ZnO core/shell-like nanocomposite exhibits a high photocurrent density of 1.08 mA cm-2 with conversion efficiency up to 0.74%, 8 times larger than that of pristine ZnO nanoparticles. Comprehensively, the results from experimental and computational aspects reveal that the S dopants substituting the surface O sites narrow the band gap and introduce a mid-gap impurity band, contributing to the enhanced water splitting activity. This design provides some guides for future optimization of ZnO-based photoelectrodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Dec 10 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 11135008 , 11079004 , U1332131 , 11175184 , U1232132 and 11305172 ), the Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 11321503 ), National Basic Research Program of China ( 2012CB825800 ), and New Century Excellent Talents in Chinese University ( NCET-10-0992 ). We are grateful to NSRL, BSRF and SSRF for the valuable beamtimes.


  • Core/shell-like nanocomposite
  • Impurity mid-gap band
  • Photoelectrochemical
  • Sulfur doping
  • Water splitting
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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