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Issue 12, 2018
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Insights into the enhanced photoelectrochemical performance of hydrothermally controlled hematite nanostructures for proficient solar water oxidation

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Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the controlled growth mechanism of α-Fe2O3 nanostructures via the hydrothermal method. The field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) results reveal that at a lower hydrothermal time, the initial nucleation involves the formation of short and thin β-FeOOH nanorods. The subsequent increase in the hydrothermal time leads β-FeOOH to form thicker and longer nanorods. However, high-temperature quenching (HTQ) at 800 °C for 10 min causes the conversion of akaganeite to the hematite phase and activation of hematite by Sn4+ diffusion from a FTO substrate. Sn4+ diffusion from the FTO substrate to the hematite nanostructure was elaborated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). An α-Fe2O3 nanorod photoanode prepared by a hydrothermal reaction for 3 h and HTQ exhibits the highest photocurrent density of 1.04 mA cm−2. The excellent photoelectrochemical performance could be ascribed to the synergistic effect of the optimum growth of α-Fe2O3 nanorod arrays and Sn4+ diffusion. Intensity modulated photovoltage spectroscopy (IMVS) studies revealed that the α-Fe2O3 photoanodes prepared at 3 h and HTQ exhibited a long electron lifetime (132.69 ms), and contribute to the enhanced PEC performance. The results confirmed that the controlled growth of the β-FeOOH nanorods, as well as Sn4+ diffusion, played a key role in charge transfer during the photoelectrochemical application. The charge transfer mechanisms in α-Fe2O3 nanostructure photoanodes prepared at different hydrothermal times and high-temperature quenching are also investigated.

Graphical abstract: Insights into the enhanced photoelectrochemical performance of hydrothermally controlled hematite nanostructures for proficient solar water oxidation

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Dec 2017, accepted on 26 Jan 2018 and first published on 26 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7DT04536K
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2018,47, 4076-4086
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    Insights into the enhanced photoelectrochemical performance of hydrothermally controlled hematite nanostructures for proficient solar water oxidation

    J. W. Park, A. Subramanian, M. A. Mahadik, S. Y. Lee, S. H. Choi and J. S. Jang, Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 4076
    DOI: 10.1039/C7DT04536K

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