University of Oulu

Talebi, P., Kistanov, A. A., Rani, E., Singh, H., Pankratov, V., Pankratova, V., King, G., Huttula, M., & Cao, W. (2022). Unveiling the role of carbonate in nickel-based plasmonic core@shell hybrid nanostructure for photocatalytic water splitting. Applied Energy, 322, 119461.

Unveiling the role of carbonate in nickel-based plasmonic core@shell hybrid nanostructure for photocatalytic water splitting

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Author: Talebi, Parisa1; Kistanov, Andrey A.1; Rani, Ekta1;
Organizations: 1Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit, University of Oulu, FIN-90014, Finland
2Institute of Solid-State Physics, University of Latvia, 8 Kengaraga iela, 1063 Riga, Latvia
3Canadian Light Source, 44 Innovation Blvd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 2V3, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-21


Though carbonates are known for several decades, their role in sun-light driven photocatalysis is still hidden. Herein, carbonate boosted solar water splitting in nickel-based plasmonic hybrid nanostructures is disclosed for the first time via in-situ experiments and density-functional theory (DFT)-based calculations. Ni@NiO/NiCO₃ core@shell (shell consisting of crystalline NiO and amorphous NiCO₃) nanostructure with varying size and compositions are studied for hydrogen production. The visible light absorption at ∼470 nm excludes the possibility of NiO as an active photocatalyst, emphasizing plasmon driven H₂ evolution. Under white light irradiation, higher hydrogen yield of ∼80 µmol/g/h for vacuum annealed sample over pristine (∼50 µmol/g/h) complements the spectroscopic data and DFT results, uncovering amorphous NiCO₃ as an active site for H₂ absorption due to its unique electronic structure. This conclusion also supports the time-resolved photoluminescence results, indicating that the plasmonic electrons originating from Ni are transferred to NiCO₃ via NiO. The H₂ evolution rate can further be enhanced and tuned by the incorporation of NiO between Ni and NiCO₃.

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Series: Applied energy
ISSN: 0306-2619
ISSN-E: 1872-9118
ISSN-L: 0306-2619
Volume: 322
Article number: 119461
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2022.119461
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Funding: P. T. acknowledges financial support from Kvantum Institute of University of Oulu. A.A.K. and W. Cao acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 101002219). A.A.K. acknowledges Dr. Romain Botella for his assistance in the interpretation of the Bader analysis results. Part of the research described in this paper was performed at the Canadian Light Source, a national research facility of the University of Saskatchewan, which is supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the National Research Council (NRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Government of Saskatchewan, and the University of Saskatchewan. Vladimir Pankratov acknowledges the European Regional Development Fund project The Institute of Solid-State Physics, University of Latvia as the Center of Excellence has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2 under grant agreement No. 739508, project CAMART2.
EU Grant Number: (101002219) CATCH - Cross-dimensional Activation of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Heterojunctions
Copyright information: © 2022 university of Oulu, Finland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (