Self-motivated, thermally oxidized hematite nanoflake photoanodes: Effects of pre-polishing and ZrO2 passivation layer
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- Self-motivated, thermally oxidized hematite nanoflake photoanodes: Effects of pre-polishing and ZrO2 passivation layer
- Dhandole, Love Kumar; Lee, Hyun Hwi; Cha, Weon-Sik; Jang, Jum Suk; Lee, Jae Sung
- Issue Date
- Elsevier BV
- JOURNAL OF ENERGY CHEMISTRY, v.65, pp.415 - 423
- High-temperature thermal oxidation of an Fe foil produces a high-quality, crystalline hematite nanoflake suitable as a photoanode for the photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation. Physical pre-polishing of the foil surface has a profound effect in the formation of a vertically-aligned nanoflakes of hematite phase with extended (110) planes by removing the loosely-bonded oxide layer. When the surface of the photoanode is modified with a ZrO2 passivation layer and a cobalt phosphate co-catalyst, the charge recombination at the photoanode-electrolyte interface is greatly suppressed to improve its overall PEC activity. As a result, the photocurrent density at 1.10 VRHE under 1 sun condition is enhanced from 0.22 mA cm−2 for an unmodified photoanode to 0.59 mA cm−2 for the fully modified photoanode, and the photocurrent onset potential is shifted cathodically by 400 mV. Moreover, the photoanode demonstrates outstanding stability by showing steady production of H2 and O2 gases in the stoichiometric ratio of 2:1 in a continuous PEC operation for 10 h.
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