DOI: 10.1002/smll.202306453 ISSN: 1613-6810

Efficient Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Generation Based on Core Size Effect of Heterostructured Quantum Dots

Kanghong Wang, Yi Tao, Zikun Tang, Xiaolan Xu, Daniele Benetti, François Vidal, Haiguang Zhao, Federico Rosei, Xuhui Sun
  • Biomaterials
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry


Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) are shown to be effective as light‐harvesting sensitizers of metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) photoelectrodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen (H2) generation. The CdSe/CdS core/shell architecture is widely studied due to their tunable absorption range and band alignment via engineering the size of each composition, leading to efficient carrier separation/transfer with proper core/shell band types. However, until now the effect of core size on the PEC performance along with tailoring the core/shell band alignment is not well understood. Here, by regulating four types of CdSe/CdS core/shell QDs with different core sizes (diameter of 2.8, 3.1, 3.5, and 4.8 nm) while the thickness of CdS shell remains the same (thickness of 2.0 ± 0.1 nm), the Type II, Quasi‐Type II, and Type I core/shell architecture are successfully formed. Among these, the optimized CdSe/CdS/TiO2 photoelectrode with core size of 3.5 nm can achieve the saturated photocurrent density (Jph) of 17.4 mA cm−2 under standard one sun irradiation. When such cores are further optimized by capping alloyed shells, the Jph can reach values of 22 mA cm2 which is among the best‐performed electrodes based on colloidal QDs.

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