Enhanced Overall Water Splitting by a Zirconium-Doped TaON-Based Photocatalyst

Jiadong Xiao, Shinji Nishimae, Junie Jhon M. Vequizo, Mamiko Nakabayashi, Takashi Hisatomi, Huihui Li, Lihua Lin, Naoya Shibata, Akira Yamakata, Yasunobu Inoue, Kazunari Domen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Solar-powered one-step-excitation overall water splitting (OWS) using semiconducting materials is a simple means of achieving scalable and sustainable hydrogen production. While tantalum oxynitride (TaON) is one of the few photocatalysts capable of promoting OWS via single-step visible-light excitation, the efficiency of this process remains extremely poor. The present work employed 15 nm amorphous Ta2O5⋅3.3 H2O nanoparticles as a new precursor together with Zr doping and an optimized nitridation duration to synthesize a TaON-based photocatalyst with reduced particle sizes and low defect densities. Upon loading with Ru/Cr2O3/IrO2 cocatalysts, this material exhibited stoichiometric water splitting into hydrogen and oxygen, with an order of magnitude improvement in efficiency. Our findings demonstrate the importance of inventing/selecting the appropriate synthetic precursor and of defect control for fabricating active OWS photocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202116573
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 19 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Defects
  • Oxynitride
  • Precursors
  • Solar Energy
  • Water Splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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