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Doping hematite with different elements is a common strategy to improve the electrocatalytic activity towards the water oxidation reaction, although the exact effect of these external agents is not yet clearly understood. Using a feasible electrophoretic procedure, we prepared modified hematite films by introducing in the deposition solution Ti (IV) butoxide. Photoelectrochemical performances of all the modified electrodes were superior to the unmodified one, with a 4-fold increase in the photocurrent at 0.65 V vs. SCE in 0.1 M NaOH (pH 13.3) for the 5% Ti-modified electrode, which was the best performing electrode. Subsequent functionalization with an iron-based catalyst led, at the same potential, to a photocurrent of ca. 1.5 mA· cm− 2, one of the highest achieved with materials based on solution processing in the absence of precious elements. AFM, XPS, TEM and XANES analyses revealed the formation of different Ti (IV) oxide phases on the hematite surface, that can reduce surface state recombination and enhance hole injection through local surface field effects, as confirmed by electrochemical impedance analysis. View Full-Text
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication date: 
20 Jul 2016

Nicola Dalle Carbonare, Rita Boaretto, Stefano Caramori, Roberto Argazzi, Maurizio Dal Colle, Luca Pasquini, Renzo Bertoncello, Marcello Marelli, Claudio Evangelisti, Carlo Alberto Bignozzi

Biblio References: 
Volume: 21 Issue: 7 Pages: 942