Hematite is a classical photoanode material for photoelectrochemical water splitting due to its stability, performance, and low cost. However, the effect of particle size is still a question due to the charge transfer to the electrodes. In this work, we addressed this subject by the fabrication of a photoelectrode with hematite nanoparticles embedded in close contact with the electrode substrate. The nanoparticles were synthesized by a solvothermal method and colloidal stabilization with charged hydroxide molecules, and we were able to further use them to prepare electrodes for water photo-oxidation. Hematite nanoparticles were embedded within electrospun tin-doped indium oxide nanofibers. The fibrous layer acted as a current collector scaffold for the nanoparticles, supporting the effective transport of charge carriers. This method allows better contact of the nanoparticles with the substrate, and also, the fibrous scaffold increases the optical density of the photoelectrode. Electrodes based on nanofibers with embedded nanoparticles display significantly enhanced photoelectrochemical performance compared to their flat nanoparticle-based layer counterparts. This nanofiber architecture increases the photocurrent density and photon-to-current internal conversion efficiency by factors of 2 and 10, respectively.
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© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.
- water splitting