We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Cobalt-doped ZnO nanorods coated with nanoscale metal-organic framework shells for water-splitting photoanodes.

Galan Gonzalez, Alejandro and Sivan, Aswathi K. and Hernández Ferrer, Javier and Bowen, Leon and Di Mario, Lorenzo and Martelli, Faustino and Benito, Ana M. and Maser, Wolfgang K. and Chaudhry, Mujeeb Ullah and Gallant, Andrew and Zeze, Dagou A. and Atkinson, Del (2020) 'Cobalt-doped ZnO nanorods coated with nanoscale metal-organic framework shells for water-splitting photoanodes.', ACS applied nano materials., 3 (8). pp. 7781-7788.


Developing highly efficient and stable photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting electrodes via inexpensive, liquid phase processing is one of the key challenges for the conversion of solar energy into hydrogen for sustainable energy production. ZnO represents one the most suitable semiconductor metal oxide alternatives, owing to its high electron mobility, abundance and low-cost, although its performance is limited by its lack of absorption in the visible spectrum and reduced charge separation and charge transfer efficiency. Here, we present a solution-processed water splitting photoanode based on Co-doped ZnO nanorods (NRs) coated with a transparent functionalizing metal-organic framework (MOF). The light absorption of the ZnO NRs is engineered towards the visible region by Co-doping, while the MOF significantly improves the stability, and charge separation and transfer properties of the NRs. This synergetic combination of doping and nanoscale surface functionalization boosts the current density and functional lifetime of the photoanodes while achieving an unprecedented incident photon to current efficiency (IPCE) of 75% at 350 nm, which is over two times that of pristine ZnO. A theoretical model and band structure for the core-shell nanostructure is provided, highlighting how this nanomaterial combination provides an attractive pathway for the design of robust and highly-efficient semiconductor-based photoanodes that can be translated to other semiconducting oxide systems.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.
Date accepted:13 July 2020
Date deposited:17 July 2020
Date of first online publication:15 July 2020
Date first made open access:01 September 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar