Ag(I) ions working as a hole-transfer mediator in photoelectrocatalytic water oxidation on WO3 film.

Affiliation

School of Energy Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 41566, Korea. [Email]

Abstract

Ag(I) is commonly employed as an electron scavenger to promote water oxidation. In addition to its straightforward role as an electron acceptor, Ag(I) can also capture holes to generate the high-valent silver species. Herein, we demonstrate photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) water oxidation and concurrent dioxygen evolution by the silver redox cycle where Ag(I) acts as a hole-transfer mediator. Ag(I) enhances the PEC performance of WO3 electrodes at 1.23 V vs. RHE with increasing O2 evolution, while forming Ag(II) complexes (AgIINO3+). Upon turning off both light and potential bias, the photocurrent immediately drops to zero, whereas O2 evolution continues over ~10 h with gradual bleaching of the colored complexes. This phenomenon is observed neither in the Ag(I)-free PEC reactions nor in the photocatalytic (i.e., bias-free) reactions with Ag(I). This study finds that the role of Ag(I) is not limited as an electron scavenger and calls for more thorough studies on the effect of Ag(I).

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