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Issue 32, 2013
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On the orbital anisotropy in hematite nanorod-based photoanodes

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The orbital anisotropy of hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanorod arrays, an engineered structure commonly investigated for applications in solar water oxidation photoanodes, is probed using polarization-dependent soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the O K-edge and at the Fe L2,3-edge. Thereby the unoccupied states of α-Fe2O3 are examined. In the lowest energy region these are found to be strongly-hybridized Fe 3d (a1g) orbitals and O2− ligand 2p orbitals, oriented along the c-axis. For [110]-oriented α-Fe2O3 nanocrystals the observed direction of strong hybridization is parallel to the substrate surface (perpendicular to the direction of electron conduction and light propagation in operating electrodes). The Fe L3-edge line shape and aspects of polarization dependence can be reproduced by crystal field atomic multiplet calculations of 2p-to-3d transitions for Fe3+ in the D3d point group symmetry of metal ions in the corundum structure. Both the O K-edge and Fe L3-edge spectra possess features that may be related to the high density of surface atoms in this nanoscale system. They are associated with partial coordination and therefore reduced symmetry compared to that for Fe3+ in bulk crystals.

Graphical abstract: On the orbital anisotropy in hematite nanorod-based photoanodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jun 2013, accepted on 20 Jun 2013 and first published on 24 Jun 2013

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52527A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 13483-13488

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    On the orbital anisotropy in hematite nanorod-based photoanodes

    C. X. Kronawitter, I. Zegkinoglou, S. Shen, J. Guo, F. J. Himpsel, S. S. Mao and L. Vayssieres, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 13483
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52527A

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