Using hematite for photoelectrochemical water splitting: a review of current progress and challenges
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting is a promising technology for solar hydrogen production to build a sustainable, renewable and clean energy economy. Hematite (α-Fe2O3) based photoanodes offer promise for such applications, due to their high chemical stability, great abundance and low cost. Despite these promising properties, progress towards the manufacture of practical water splitting devices has been limited. This review is intended to highlight recent advancements and the limitations that still hamper the full utilization of hematite electrodes in PEC water splitting systems. We review recent progress in manipulating hematite for PEC water splitting through various approaches, focused on e.g. enhancing light absorption, water oxidation kinetics, and charge carrier collection efficiency. As the morphology affects various properties, progress in morphological characterization from thicker planar films to recent ultrathin nanophotonic morphologies is also examined. Special emphasis has been given to various ultrathin films and nanophotonic structures which have not been given much attention in previous review articles.