Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie | 2019

Sn-Doped Hematite for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: The Effect of Sn Concentration



Abstract Hematite-based photoanodes have been intensively studied for photoelectrochemical water oxidation. The n-type dopant Sn has been shown to benefit the activity of hematite anodes. We demonstrate in this study that Sn-doped hematite thin films grown by atomic layer deposition can achieve uniform doping across the film thickness up to at least 32 mol%, far exceeding the equilibrium solubility limit of less than 1 mol%. On the other hand, with the introduction of Sn doping, the hematite crystallite size decreases and many twin boundaries form in the film, which may contribute to the low photocurrent observed in these films. Density functional theory calculations with a Hubbard U term show that Sn doping has multiple effects on the hematite properties. With increasing Sn4+ content, the Fe2+ concentration increases, leading to a reduction of the band gap and finally to a metallic state. This goes hand in hand with an increase of the lattice constant.

Volume 234
Pages 683 - 698
DOI 10.1515/zpch-2019-1482
Language English
Journal Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie

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