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Towards zero bias photoelectrochemical water splitting: onset potential improvement on Mg:GaN modified-Ta3N5 photoanode

Abstract

Tantalum nitride (Ta3N5) based photoanodes were overlaid with magnesium-doped gallium nitride (Mg:GaN) thin films by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PCVD) technique, and subjected to photoelectrochemical activity tests, aiming for a negative shift of onset potential for O2 evolution. A remarkable negative shift of the onset potential was observed after annealing Mg:GaN in N2 gas, reaching 0 V vs RHE, despite a lower photocurrent than that on bare Ta3N5. Mg:GaN annealed in NH3 exhibited an improvement of the photocurrent. A detailed study of the photoelectrochemical performance for various samples and a thorough characterization have revealed the effects of N2/NH3 post annealing over Mg activation/Ta3N5 damage recovery, controlling the onset potential shift and the current density improvement. N2 post annealing shifted the onset potential to 0 V vs RHE but decreased the current density. On the other hand, NH3 post annealing slightly shifted the onset potential and increased the current density largely. Albeit the current density loss, this onset potential shift unlocks the prospect of unassisted photoelectrochemical water splitting onTa3N5.

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jun 2018, accepted on 12 Jul 2018 and first published on 13 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05300F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Towards zero bias photoelectrochemical water splitting: onset potential improvement on Mg:GaN modified-Ta3N5 photoanode

    E. Nurlaela, Y. Sasaki, M. Nakabayashi, N. Shibata, T. Yamada and K. Domen, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA05300F

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