Alkaline-stable nickel manganese oxides with ideal band gap for solar fuel photoanodes†
Combinatorial (photo)electrochemical studies of the (Ni–Mn)Ox system reveal a range of promising materials for oxygen evolution photoanodes. X-ray diffraction, quantum efficiency, and optical spectroscopy mapping reveal stable photoactivity of NiMnO3 in alkaline conditions with photocurrent onset commensurate with its 1.9 eV direct band gap. The photoactivity increases upon mixture with 10–60% Ni6MnO8 providing an example of enhanced charge separation via heterojunction formation in mixed-phase thin film photoelectrodes. Density functional theory-based hybrid functional calculations of the band edge energies in this oxide reveal that a somewhat smaller than typical fraction of exact exchange is required to explain the favorable valence band alignment for water oxidation.