High performance and toxicity assessment of Ta3N5 nanotubes for photoelectrochemical water splitting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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In this work, Co-based cocatalysts are electrodeposited on mesoporous Ta3N5 nanotubes. The electrodeposition time is varied and the optimized photoelectrode reaches a photocurrent density of 6.3 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V vs. SHE, under simulated solar illumination of 1 Sun, in 1 M NaOH. The best performing electrode, apart from the high photocurrent density, shows improved stability under intense photoelectrochemical water splitting conditions. The dual function of the cocatalyst to improve not only the photoelectrochemical performance, but also the stability, is highlighted. Moreover, we adopted a simple protocol to assess the toxicity of Co and Ta contained nanostructured materials (representing used photoelectrodes) employing the human cell line HeLa S3 as target cells.