Niobium Improves Photoelectrodes

  • Author: ChemNanoMat
  • Published Date: 09 April 2016
  • Source / Publisher: ChemNanoMat/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Niobium Improves Photoelectrodes

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting is a promising alternative approach for solar hydrogen conversion that requires photoelectrodes with excellent sunlight harvesting and charge transfer abilities. Hematite has emerged as an ideal candidate due to its narrow band gap of 2.1 eV, as well as its abundance and stability. However, its intrinsically poor electrical conductivity and short carrier lifetime lead to poor PEC performance.

Shaohua Shen and colleagues, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, have produced Nb-doped hematite photoanodes with improved performance. The team prepared α-Fe2O3 nanorod arrays using a mild aqueous solution method with niobium chloride (NbCl5) directly added to the precursor solution, followed by high-temperature annealing.

The optimally doped sample showed a 4-fold photocurrent increase compared with pristine hematite under solar illumination. The researchers attributed this improved performance to the modified electronic structure, which provides a better charge transfer ability, and the small nanorod diameter, which shortens the charge transfer distance.

This work provides a facile strategy for the fabrication of highly efficient PEC cells, and should also be helpful for optimizing doped hematite and other semiconductor materials for different applications.


Article Views: 2833

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH