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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Apr 20;133(15):6012-9. doi: 10.1021/ja111454f. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

Magnetite colloidal nanocrystals: a facile pathway to prepare mesoporous hematite thin films for photoelectrochemical water splitting.

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Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Sao Carlos, 13565-905 Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil.


In this study, we demonstrate an alternative and promising way to produce hematite photoanodes with high performance and without the addition of doping or catalytic coating. In this approach, we processed hematite thin films using a colloidal dispersion of magnetite nanocrystals as the precursor. The photoelectrochemical characterization shows that the colloidal approach used to process an undoped hematite photoanode produced a high-performance electrode for water photooxidation with an onset potential as low as 0.8 V(RHE). This value is comparable to the best results reported in the literature for a hematite photoanode modified with catalytic materials. We demonstrate that pure hematite thin films reach 1.1 mA·cm(-2) at 1.23 V(RHE) with back-side illumination.

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