A sustainable molybdenum oxysulphide-cobalt phosphate photocatalyst for effectual solar-driven water splitting

Naseer Iqbal, Ibrahim Khan, Asghar Ali, Ahsanullhaq Qurashi

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Hydrogen is considered as a clean alternative green energy future fuel. Since the Honda-Fujishima effect for photoelectrochemical water splitting is known, there has been a substantial boost in this field. Numerous photocatalysts based on metals, semiconductors, and organic-inorganic hybrid-systems have been proposed. Several factors limit their efficiency, e.g., a stable PEC-WS setup, absorbing visible light, well-aligned band energy for charge transfer, electrons and holes, and their separation to avoid recombination and limited water redox reactions. Metallic doping and impregnation of stable and efficient co-catalysts such as Pt, Ag, and Au showed enhanced PEC-WS. We used Cobalt-based co-catalyst with molybdenum oxysulfide photocatalyst for effectual solar-driven water splitting. Objectives: To develop photocatalysts for efficient PEC processes capable of absorbing sufficient visible light, good band energy for effective charge transfer, inexpensive, significant solar-to-chemical energy conversion efficiencies. Above all, it is developing such PEC-WS systems that will be commercially viable for renewable energy resources. Methods: We prepared Molybdenum oxysulphide-cobalt phosphate photocatalyst for PEC-WS through a facile hydrothermal route using ammonium heptamolybdate, thiourea, and metallic Cobalt precursors. Results: An effectual photocatalyst is produced for solar-driven water splitting. The conformal morphology of MoOxSy-CoPi nanoflowers is a significant feature, as observed under FE-SEM and HR-TEM. XRD confirmed the degree of purity and orthorhombic crystal structure of MoOxSy-CoPi. EDX and XPS identify the elemental compositions and corresponding oxidation states of each atom. A 2.44 eV band-gap energy is calculated for MoOxSy-CoPi from the diffused reflectance spectrum. Photo- Electrochemical Studies (PEC) under 1-SUN solar irradiation revealed 7-8 folds enhanced photocurrent (∼ 3.5 mA/cm2) generated from MoOxSy-CoPi/FTO in comparison to Co-PI/FTO (∼ 0.5 mA/cm2) and MoOxSy-/FTO respectively, within 0.5 M Na2SO4 electrolyte (@pH=7) and standard three electrodes electrochemical cell. Conclusion: Our results showed MoOxSy-CoPi as promising photocatalyst material for improved solar-driven photoelectrochemical water splitting system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrothermal Reaction Synthesis
  • MoOS-CoPi nanoflowers
  • Photocatalysis
  • Water Splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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