One-step overall water splitting under visible light using multiband InGaN/GaN nanowire heterostructures

Md G. Kibria, Hieu P.T. Nguyen, Kai Cui, Songrui Zhao, Dongping Liu, Hong Guo, Michel L. Trudeau, Suzanne Paradis, Abou Rachid Hakima, Zetian Mi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


The conversion of solar energy into hydrogen via water splitting process is one of the key sustainable technologies for future clean, storable, and renewable source of energy. Therefore, development of visible light-responsive and efficient photocatalyst material has been of immense interest, but with limited success. Here, we show that overall water splitting under visible-light irradiation can be achieved using a single photocatalyst material. Multiband InGaN/GaN nanowire heterostructures, decorated with rhodium (Rh)/chromium-oxide (Cr2O3) core-shell nanoparticles can lead to stable hydrogen production from pure (pH ∼ 7.0) water splitting under ultraviolet, blue and green-light irradiation (up to ∼560 nm), the longest wavelength ever reported. At ∼440-450 nm wavelengths, the internal quantum efficiency is estimated to be ∼13%, the highest value reported in the visible spectrum. The turnover number under visible light well exceeds 73 in 12 h. Detailed analysis further confirms the stable photocatalytic activity of the nanowire heterostructures. This work establishes the use of metal-nitrides as viable photocatalyst for solar-powered artificial photosynthesis for the production of hydrogen and other solar fuels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7886-7893
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • GaN
  • InGaN
  • hydrogen
  • molecular beam epitaxy
  • nanowire
  • photocatalytic
  • water splitting


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