Core-shell nanofibers of ZnFe2O4/ZnO for enhanced visible-light photoelectrochemical performance

Andrii Lys, Viktor Zabolotnii, Mária Čaplovičová, Iryna Tepliakova, Agris Berzins, Martin Sahul, Ľubomír Čaplovič, Alexander Pogrebnjak, Igor Iatsunskyi, Roman Viter

In: Journal of Alloys and Compounds,Volume 984, 2024, 173885


Recent research places significant importance on the development of innovative nanocomposites for photoelectrochemical applications. This paper presents the fabrication, characterization, and possible photoelectrochemical applications of novel ZnFe2O4/ZnO core-shell nanofibers. These core-shell nanofibers were fabricated through co-axial electrospinning using PVP solutions containing iron and zinc nitrate precursors for the core and shell. The structural and optical properties of ZnFe2O4/ZnO core-shell nanofibers were examined through TEM, SEM, XRD, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. This comprehensive analysis unveiled that the development of core and shell characteristics was notably influenced by the interdiffusion of [Fe]/[Zn] during the annealing process. The photoelectrochemical properties of ZnFe2O4/ZnO core-shell nanofibers were assessed through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), and the Mott-Schottky method. These core-shell nanofibers demonstrated a robust electrochemical response to visible light. Photocurrent and photoconversion efficiency of the core-shell nanofibers were calculated and compared with the corresponding values for core-shell nanoparticles. The mechanisms underlying the structural, optical, and photoelectrochemical properties of ZnFe2O4/ZnO core-shell nanofibers were discussed. These advanced nanofibers hold potential applications in photocatalysis, photovoltaics, and energy storage, making this research timely and crucial for advancing sustainable energy technologies and environmental remediation efforts.