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Nanoscale Res Lett. 2015 Dec;10(1):374. doi: 10.1186/s11671-015-1077-y. Epub 2015 Sep 29.

Enhanced photoelectrocatalytic performance of α-Fe2O3 thin films by surface plasmon resonance of Au nanoparticles coupled with surface passivation by atom layer deposition of Al2O3.

Liu Y1,2, Xu Z3, Yin M4, Fan H5, Cheng W6,7, Lu L8, Song Y9, Ma J10, Zhu X11.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China. afliuyuting@163.com.
2
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201210, China. afliuyuting@163.com.
3
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201210, China. xuz@sari.ac.cn.
4
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201210, China. yinm@sari.ac.cn.
5
Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China. 13770752085@163.com.
6
Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China. xiaojie090919@126.com.
7
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201210, China. xiaojie090919@126.com.
8
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 201210, China. lulf@sari.ac.cn.
9
Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China. soong_ye@163.com.
10
School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai, 200444, China. jingma@shu.edu.cn.
11
Key Laboratory of Soft Chemistry and Functional Materials of Education Ministry, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, China. zhuxufei.njust@163.com.

Abstract

The short lifetime of photogenerated charge carriers of hematite (α-Fe2O3) thin films strongly hindered the PEC performances. Herein, α-Fe2O3 thin films with surface nanowire were synthesized by electrodeposition and post annealing method for photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) water splitting. The thickness of the α-Fe2O3 films can be precisely controlled by adjusting the duration of the electrodeposition. The Au nanoparticles (NPs) and Al2O3 shell by atom layer deposition were further introduced to modify the photoelectrodes. Different constructions were made with different deposition orders of Au and Al2O3 on Fe2O3 films. The Fe2O3-Au-Al2O3 construction shows the best PEC performance with 1.78 times enhancement by localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of NPs in conjunction with surface passivation of Al2O3 shells. Numerical simulation was carried out to investigate the promotion mechanisms. The high PEC performance for Fe2O3-Au-Al2O3 construction electrode could be attributed to the Al2O3 intensified LSPR, effective surface passivation by Al2O3 coating, and the efficient charge transfer due to the Fe2O3-Au Schottky junctions.

KEYWORDS:

Atomic layer deposition; Hematite; Photoelectrocatalytic water splitting; Surface passivation; Surface plasmon resonance

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