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A Facile Approach for Preparing Densely-Packed Individual p-NiO/n-Fe2O3 Heterojunction Nanowires for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Abstract

Innovative design of electrode materials is crucial for efficient conversion of solar energy into chemical fuel through photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Herein, we report the development of a p-n heterojunction nanowire (NW) based photoanode made of low-cost earth-abundant materials. Densely-packed and freestanding individual p-NiO/n-Fe2O3 heterojunction NWs are fabricated through consecutive electrodeposition of Fe and Ni NWs inside the pores of anodic alumina template followed by controlled oxidation. Heterojunction formation in individual NWs is confirmed through energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), along with elemental mapping on individual NW through electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). An inverted ā€˜Vā€™ shape nature of the Mott-Schottky curve suggests p-n diode like characteristics of the heterojunction NWs. These p-n heterojunction NWs demonstrate significantly enhanced photocurrent density (~24 times at potential of 1.23 V vs RHE) and a cathodic shift (~0.4 V) of photocurrent onset potential as compare to the pristine Fe2O3 NW electrode, which can be attributed to the synergistic combination of n-Fe2O3 with co-catalyst p-NiO facilitating generation and transfer of photogenerated holes into the electrolyte for water oxidation. This study validates the feasibility of developing Fe2O3 based heterojunction photoelectrodes for efficient PEC water splitting.

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Mar 2018, accepted on 09 Jun 2018 and first published on 11 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02508H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    A Facile Approach for Preparing Densely-Packed Individual p-NiO/n-Fe2O3 Heterojunction Nanowires for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

    A. K. Singh and D. Sarkar, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02508H

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