Activating the surface and bulk of hematite photoanodes to improve solar water splitting
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- Activating the surface and bulk of hematite photoanodes to improve solar water splitting
- Zhang, Hemin; Park, Jong Hyun; Byun, Woojin; Song, Myoung Hoon; Lee, Jae Sung
- Issue Date
- ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
- CHEMICAL SCIENCE, v.10, no.44, pp.10436 - 10444
- A simple electrochemical activation treatment is proposed to improve effectively the photoelectrochemical performance of Nb,Sn co-doped hematite nanorods. The activation process involves an initial thrice cathodic scanning (reduction) and a subsequent thrice anodic scanning (oxidation), which modifies both the surface and bulk properties of the Nb,Sn:Fe2O3 photoanode. First, it selectively removes the surface components to different extents endowing the hematite surface with fewer defects and richer Nb-O and Sn-O bonds and thus passivates the surface trap states. The surface passivation effect also enhances the photoelectrochemical stability of the photoanode. Finally, more Fe2+ ions or oxygen vacancies are generated in the bulk of hematite to enhance its conductivity. As a result, the photocurrent density is increased by 62.3% from 1.88 to 3.05 mA cm(-2) at 1.23 V-RHE, the photocurrent onset potential shifts cathodically by similar to 70 mV, and photoelectrochemical stability improves remarkably relative to the pristine photoanode under simulated sunlight (100 mW cm(-2)).
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