Facile synthesis and characterisation of functional MoO3 photoanode with self-photorechargeability

Chun Yuan Chot, Meng Nan Chong, Ai Kah Soh, Khang Wei Tan, Joey D. Ocon, Christopher Saint

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There is a growing research interest in exploring the self-photorechargeability of photoanodes, which enables photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation even under non-irradiated conditions. The main aim of this study was to develop a facile synthesis of molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) photoanode displaying self-photorechargeability using an aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition (AA-CVD) method. A systematic optimisation of the key synthesis parameters of AA-CVD method, namely: (1) ultrasonication time of precursor solution, and (2) annealing temperature was carried out in order to understand the best trade-off between photocurrent density (illuminated conditions) and charge density (non-illuminated conditions). Field emission-scanning electron microscopy images showed that the MoO3 photoanodes synthesized via AA-CVD method exhibited a 3D plate-like crystalline structure that gave a large voltammogram area, indicating that the MoO3 photoanodes possessed high charge storage capacity for photogenerated electrons. PEC measurements showed that the optimised MoO3 photoanode obtained during an ultrasonication time of 25 min and at the annealing temperature of 500 °C achieved a photocurrent density of 1.47 μA/cm2 at 1.0 V vs Pt electrode. A significantly prolonged on-off illumination cycle (i.e. 1000 s) showed a significant storage capacity of photogenerated electrons within the 3D plate-like MoO3 crystalline structure was discharged during the non-irradiated conditions, and a charge density of 0.35 mC/cm2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155624
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020


  • Molybdenum trioxide
  • Semiconductor photocatalyst
  • Solar hydrogen production
  • Two-electrode configuration
  • Water splitting

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