Ag-Functionalized CuWO4/WO3 nanocomposites for solar water splitting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Reza Salimi
  • A. A. Sabbagh Alvani
  • Bastian Timo Mei
  • N. Naseri
  • Guido Mul

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Amirkabir University of Technology
  • University of Twente
  • Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences
  • Sharif University of Technology


Ag-Functionalized CuWO4/WO3 heterostructures were successfully prepared via a polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP)-assisted sol-gel (PSG) route. Thin films prepared via electrophoretic deposition were used as photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Compared to pristine CuWO4 and WO3 films, a significant enhancement of the photocurrent (3-4 times) at the thermodynamic potential for oxygen evolution (0.62 V vs. Ag/AgCl, pH 7) was obtained for the Ag-functionalized CuWO4/WO3 photoanodes. The obtained enhancement is shown to be derived from a synergic contribution of heterostructure formation (CuWO4/WO3) and improvements of light utilization by Ag-induced surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effects. Accordingly, a photocurrent of 0.205 mA cm-2 at 0.62 V vs. Ag/AgCl under neutral conditions (without hole scavengers) under front-side simulated AM1.5G illumination was achieved. A detailed analysis of the obtained PEC data alongside performed impedance measurements suggests that charge seperation is significantly improved for the prepared Ag-functionalized CuWO4/WO3 photoanodes. Our work offers beneficial insights to design new plasmonic metal/heterostructured nanocomposites for energy conversion applications.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2196-2203
Number of pages8
JournalNew Journal of Chemistry
Issue number5
Early online date26 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019