WO3-α-Fe2O3 composite photoelectrodes with low onset potential for solar water oxidation

Peng Zhao, Coleman X. Kronawitter, Xiaofang Yang, Jie Fu, Bruce E. Koel

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38 Scopus citations


The physical and photoelectrochemical properties of a composite oxide photoelectrode comprised of α-Fe2O3 and WO 3 crystals is investigated. The composite films exhibit a water oxidation photocurrent onset potential as low as 0.43 V vs. RHE, a value considerably lower than that of pure α-Fe2O3 photoanodes prepared in comparable synthesis conditions. This result represents one of the lowest onset potentials measured for hematite-based PEC water oxidation systems. Compositional analysis by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy indicates the composition of the films differs between the surfaces and bulk, with tungsten found to be concentrated in the surface region. Post-reaction Raman spectroscopy characterization demonstrates that water interacts with surface WO3 crystals, an event that is associated with the formation of a hydrated form of the oxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1332
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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