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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Apr 12;128(14):4582-3.

Translucent thin film Fe2O3 photoanodes for efficient water splitting by sunlight: nanostructure-directing effect of Si-doping.

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  • 1Institut des sciences et ingénierie chimiques, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Thin, silicon-doped nanocrystalline alpha-Fe2O3 films have been deposited on F-doped SnO2 substrates by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis and chemical vapor deposition at atmospheric pressure. The photocatalytic activity of these films with regard to photoelectrochemical water oxidation was measured at pH 13.6 under simulated AM 1.5 global sunlight. The photoanodes prepared by USP and APCVD gave 1.17 and 1.45 mA/cm2, respectively, at 1.23 V vs RHE. The morphology of the alpha-Fe2O3 was strongly influenced by the silicon doping, decreasing the feature size of the mesoscopic film. The silicon-doped alpha-Fe2O3 nano-leaflets show a preferred orientation with the (001) basal plane normal to the substrate. The best performing photoanode would yield a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of 2.1% in a tandem device using two dye-sensitized solar cells in series.

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