Highly active titanium oxide photocathode for photoelectrochemical water reduction in alkaline solution

Xuelan Hou, Lijun Fan, Yicheng Zhao, Peter D. Lund, Yongdan Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Developing low-cost, efficient and stable metal oxide cathode catalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is of great importance to overcome the major challenge in photoelectrochemical water splitting (PECWS) cell. Anodic titanium dioxide nanotube (TNT) as the electrode has shown promising for its flexibility, economy and efficiency. Herein, a highly active and stable photocathode for HER was achieved with a technique of stepwise cathodic reduction of anodic TNT without loading any cocatalyst. It exhibits a self-improving PECWS performance after the five-step cathodic reduction process. The onset voltage displays an anodic shift from −0.79 to 0.19 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and the overall current shows an enhancement from −110.06 to −210.66 mA at −1.0 VRHE in 1 M NaOH aqueous solution (pH = 13.6). The photocathode also withstands a voltage @ −1.0 VRHE and a current @ −100 mA in the WS cell for more than 12,000 s sequentially. This work demonstrates a feasible strategy for forming a multijunction composite for efficient HER with the anodic TNT as the precursor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231095
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date3 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anodic oxidation
  • Flexible substrate
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction
  • Photocathode
  • Photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • TiO nanotube


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