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Here, using first-principles calculations, we find that adsorption of water to a defective NiO(111) surface can result in intraband gap surface electronic states that are associated with hydroxyl and oxygen moieties adjacent to Ni vacancies.
A model is proposed wherein ET in annealed SnO2|TiO2 is rate-limited by electron transport in the shell, while ET in unannealed SnO2|TiO2 is rate-limited by electron escape from the core. The model is consistent with a comparative study of ZrO2|TiO2 materials for which insulating ZrO2 cores are energetically inaccessible to electrons. These mechanistic insights provide guidance on how to manipulate core|shell nanostructures for applications in solar water splitting.