Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation by Fabrication of p-LaFeO3/n-Fe2O3 Heterojunction on Hematite Nanorods

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State Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, School of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei, People’s Republic of China
State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die & Mould Technology, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, Hubei, People’s Republic of China
§ School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, People’s Republic of China
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2017, 121, 24, 12991–12998
Publication Date (Web):June 5, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b01817
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

The LaFeO3 film exhibits interesting p-type behavior and stable photocatalytic hydrogen production in aqueous solution, and we combine it with α-Fe2O3 nanorods to form a p-LaFeO3/n-Fe2O3 heterojunction to improve the photoeletrochemical (PEC) water oxidation performance of hematite. An atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique is adopted to deposit La2O3 controllably on β-FeOOH nanorods, and the p-LaFeO3/n-Fe2O3 heterojunction is achieved by post-thermal treatment, which is evidenced by the XRD, XPS, and HRTEM images. Due to the well-matched band levels of LaFeO3 and α-Fe2O3, the onset potential for photocurrent is negatively shifted by ∼50 mV. Meanwhile, the photocurrent density is promoted from 0.37 to 0.58 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V versus RHE owing to the accelerated charge separation within the space depletion layer induced by the build-in potential. Furthermore, the heterojunction is further modified by CoOx cocatalyst to improve the surface water oxidation kinetics, and the photocurrent density is promoted to 1.12 mA/cm2 at 1.23 V versus RHE. As a result, the incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency is further promoted to 25.13% at 400 nm. Our work demonstrates ALD with a prominent advantage in fabrication of the heterojunction with controllable film thickness, which plays an important role in the PEC water splitting application.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b01817.

  • IV plots and Mott–Schottky plots of LaFeO3 synthesized by ALD, structure and morphology characterization and optimized PEC performance of LF-C, HRTEM of LF-A with different La2O3 ALD cycles, PEC stability measurementm characterization of the CoOx decorated on LF-A, and UV–vis characterization of α-Fe2O3 and LF-A (PDF)

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