Retarded Charge–Carrier Recombination in Photoelectrochemical Cells from Plasmon-Induced Resonance Energy Transfer

Young Moon Choi, Byoung Wan Lee, Myung Sun Jung, Hyun Soo Han, Suk Hyun Kim, Kaifeng Chen, Dong Ha Kim, Tony F. Heinz, Shanhui Fan, Jihye Lee, Gi Ra Yi, Jung Kyu Kim, Jong Hyeok Park

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42 Scopus citations


N-type metal oxides such as hematite (α-Fe2O3) and bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) are promising candidate materials for efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting; however, their short minority carrier diffusion length and restricted carrier lifetime result in undesired rapid charge recombination. Herein, a 2D arranged globular Au nanosphere (NS) monolayer array with a highly ordered hexagonal hole pattern (hereafter, Au array) is introduced onto the surface of photoanodes comprised of metal oxide films via a facile drying and transfer-printing process. Through plasmon-induced resonance energy transfer, the Au array provides a strong electromagnetic field in the near-surface area of the metal oxide film. The near-field coupling interaction and amplification of the electromagnetic field suppress the charge recombination with long-lived photogenerated holes and simultaneously enhance the light harvesting and charge transfer efficiencies. Consequently, an over 3.3-fold higher photocurrent density at 1.23 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) is achieved for the Au array/α-Fe2O3. Furthermore, the high versatility of this transfer printing of Au arrays is demonstrated by introducing it on the molybdenum-doped BiVO4 film, resulting in 1.5-fold higher photocurrent density at 1.23 V versus RHE. The tailored metal film design can provide a potential strategy for the versatile application in various light-mediated energy conversion and optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000570
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

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© 2020 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • 2D pattern array
  • gold nanospheres
  • metal oxide photoanodes
  • solar water splitting


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