Type-II heterostructures of α-V2O5 nanowires interfaced with cadmium chalcogenide quantum dots: Programmable energetic offsets, ultrafast charge transfer, and photocatalytic hydrogen evolution
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We synthesized a new class of heterostructures by depositing CdS, CdSe, or CdTe quantum dots (QDs) onto α-V2O5 nanowires (NWs) via either successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) or linker-assisted assembly (LAA). SILAR yielded the highest loadings of QDs per NW, whereas LAA enabled better control over the size and properties of QDs. Soft and hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in conjunction with density functional theory calculations revealed that all α-V2O5/QD heterostructures exhibited Type-II band offset energetics, with a staggered gap where the conduction- and valence-band edges of α-V2O5 NWs lie at lower energies (relative to the vacuum level) than their QD counterparts. Transient absorption spectroscopy measurements revealed that the Type-II energetic offsets promoted the ultrafast (10-12-10-11 s) separation of photogenerated electrons and holes across the NW/QD interface to yield long-lived (10-6 s) charge-separated states. Charge-transfer dynamics and charge-recombination time scales varied subtly with the composition of heterostructures and the nature of the NW/QD interface, with both charge separation and recombination occurring more rapidly within SILAR-derived heterostructures. LAA-derived α-V2O5/CdSe heterostructures promoted the photocatalytic reduction of aqueous protons to H2 with a 20-fold or greater enhancement relative to isolated colloidal CdSe QDs or dispersed α-V2O5 NWs. The separation of photoexcited electrons and holes across the NW/QD interface could thus be exploited in redox photocatalysis. In light of their programmable compositions and properties and their Type-II energetics that drive ultrafast charge separation, the α-V2O5/QD heterostructures are a promising new class of photocatalyst architectures ripe for continued exploration.
author list (cited authors)
Chauhan, S., Sheng, A., Cho, J., Razek, S. A., Suwandaratne, N., Sfeir, M. Y., ... Watson, D. F.