Ti-doped α-Fe2O3 nanorods with controllable morphology by carbon layer coating for enhanced photoelectrochemical water oxidation
Ti-doped α-Fe2O3 nanorods (NRs) with carbon layer coating were fabricated for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation. The α-Fe2O3 NRs was grown on the surface of a Ti foil substrate by hydrothermal synthesis. The Ti4+ was diffused from the Ti substrate and doped into the α-Fe2O3 NRs by sintering at 800 °C. The presence of Fe2+ in the α-Fe2O3 lattice was achieved by annealing the NRs in a lack of oxygen atmosphere, e.g. in argon. The co-existence of Ti4+ and Fe2+ results in significant enhancement of the PEC performance compared with the hematite NRs obtained by annealing in air, showing the absence of Fe2+. The carbon layer coating was conducted by the carbonization of glucose. Impressively, the coated carbon layer can not only facilitate the charge transfer of the photogenerated carriers but also effectively restrain the structural aggregation of the NRs upon high temperature sintering. The carbon layer coated NRs exhibited 1.2 times higher of photocurrent density than the uncoated NRs due to the reduced charge recombination and well-distinct NR structures.