Tuning the morphology of electrosprayed BiVO4 from nanopillars to nanoferns via pH control for solar water splitting

Min Woo Kim, Edmund Samuel, Karam Kim, Hyun Yoon, Bhavana Joshi, Mark T. Swihart, Sam S. Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Electrosprayed BiVO4 adopts a nanopillar structure formed by diffusion-limited aggregation, which maximizes the surface area of the nanopillars. However, increasing the interfacial area between an electrode and the electrolyte through nanostructuring enhances the overall interfacial activity for solar water splitting. For this purpose, the pH of the precursor solution used for electrospraying BiVO4 was altered by adding ammonium hydroxide, thereby inducing a drastic change in the morphology of BiVO4. The previously demonstrated nanopillar morphology of electrosprayed BiVO4 was transformed into a nanofern structure that increased the photocurrent density of BiVO4 from 0.82 to 1.23 mA·cm−2 at 1.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The produced films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 15


  • BiVO
  • Electrostatic spray deposition
  • Nanofern
  • Nanopillar
  • Photocurrent density
  • Solar water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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