Doping of TiO2 as a Tool to Optimize the Water Splitting Efficiencies of Titania-Hematite Photoanodes

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Title: Doping of TiO2 as a Tool to Optimize the Water Splitting Efficiencies of Titania-Hematite Photoanodes
Author(s): Primc, D
Bartsch, M
Barreca, D
Carraro, G
Maccato, C
Sada, C
Niederberger, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Simple metal oxides such as hematite and titania draw a tremendous interest as materials for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting photoelectrodes to produce hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier. However, the high recombination rates of the photogenerated charges limits their application. Herein we report on highly efficient and stable composite titania-hematite photoanodes prepared by combining doped TiO2 nanoparticles with amorphous iron oxide and subsequent annealing. Studying the effect of various TiO2 doping by in-depth structural and chemical characterization, carried out through multiple technique approach, showed that doping of TiO2 allows subtle tuning of the phase composition, microstructure and surface topography of the photoanodes. When the photoanodes were prepared by combining Ta-doped TiO2 nanoparticles and amorphous iron oxide nanoparticles and subsequently annealed, remarkable photocurrents of up to 2.2 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V in 1M NaOH under 1.5 AM simulated solar illumination were obtained. The high photocurrents, which were traced back to Ta-doping, were elucidated by rutile-hematite heterojunction energetics, blocking layer formation and the doping. In addition to showing promises for a sustainable and cost-effective generation of an energy carrier, the presented strategies can also be expanded to other materials combinations opening doors for new modified semiconductors or heterojunction photoanodes.
Publication Date: 7-Feb-2017
Date of Acceptance: 6-Feb-2017
ISSN: 2398-4902
Publisher: The Royal Society of Chemistry
Start Page: 199
End Page: 206
Journal / Book Title: Sustainable Energy & Fuels
Volume: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

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