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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2016, Article ID 1413072, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1413072
Research Article

Influence Applied Potential on the Formation of Self-Organized ZnO Nanorod Film and Its Photoelectrochemical Response

Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NANOCAT), Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), University of Malaya, 3rd Floor, Block A, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 11 March 2016; Revised 17 April 2016; Accepted 27 April 2016

Academic Editor: Ahmad Umar

Copyright © 2016 Nur Azimah Abd Samad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The present paper reports on the facile formation of ZnO nanorod photocatalyst electrodeposited on Zn foil in the production of hydrogen gas via water photoelectrolysis. Based on the results, ZnO nanorod films were successfully grown via electrochemical deposition in an optimum electrolyte set of 0.5 mM zinc chloride and 0.1 M potassium chloride at pH level of 5-6 and electrochemical deposition temperature of around 70°C. The study was also conducted at a very low stirring rate with different applied potentials. Applied potential was one of the crucial aspects in the formation of self-organized ZnO nanorod film via control of the field-assisted dissolution and field-assisted deposition rates during the electrochemical deposition process. Interestingly, low applied potentials of 1 V during electrochemical deposition produced a high aspect ratio and density of self-organized ZnO nanorod distribution on the Zn substrate with an average diameter and length of ~37.9 nm and ~249.5 nm, respectively. Therefore, it exhibited a high photocurrent density that reached 17.8 mA/cm2 under ultraviolet illumination and 12.94 mA/cm2 under visible illumination. This behaviour was attributed to the faster transport of photogenerated electron/hole pairs in the nanorod’s one-dimensional wall surface, which prevented backward reactions and further reduced the number of recombination centres.