Enhanced photoelectrochemical water oxidation via atomic layer deposition of TiO2 on fluorine-doped tin oxide nanoparticle films

Journal Article (Journal Article)

TiO2 is an exemplary semiconductor anode material for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting electrodes due to its functionality, long-term stability in corrosive environments, nontoxicity, and low cost. In this study, TiO2 photoanodes with enhanced photocurrent density were synthesized by atomic layer deposition (ALD) of TiO2 onto a porous, transparent, and conductive fluorine-doped tin oxide nanoparticle (nanoFTO) scaffold fabricated by solution processing. The simplicity and disordered nature of the nanoFTO nanostructure combined with the ultrathin conformal ALD TiO2 coatings offers advantages including decoupling charge carrier diffusion length from optical penetration depth, increased photon absorption probability through scattering, complimentary photon absorption, and favorable interfaces for charge separation and transfer across the various junctions. We examine the effects of porosity of the nanoFTO scaffold and thickness of the TiO2 coating on PEC performance and achieve an optimal photocurrent of 0.7 mA cm-2 at 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl under 100 mW cm-2 AM 1.5 G irradiation in a 1 M KOH aqueous electrolyte. Furthermore, the fundamental mechanisms behind the improvements are characterized via cyclic voltammetry, incident photon-to-current efficiency, transient photocurrent spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and are contrasted with those of single crystal rutile TiO2 nanowires. The strategies employed in this work highlight the opportunities inherent to these types of heteronanostructures, where the lessons may be applied to improve the PEC conversion efficiencies of other promising semiconductors, such as hematite (α-Fe2O3) and other materials more sensitive to visible light. This journal is

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cordova, IA; Peng, Q; Ferrall, IL; Rieth, AJ; Hoertz, PG; Glass, JT

Published Date

  • May 14, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 18

Start / End Page

  • 8584 - 8592

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2040-3372

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2040-3364

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1039/c4nr07377k

Citation Source

  • Scopus