Iron Oxide Films Prepared by Rapid Thermal Processing for Solar Energy Conversion

B. Wickman, Alice Bastos da Silva Fanta, Andrew Burrows, A. Hellman, Jakob Birkedal Wagner, Beniamino Iandolo

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    Hematite is a promising and extensively investigated material for various photoelectrochemical (PEC) processes for energy conversion and storage, in particular for oxidation reactions. Thermal treatments during synthesis of hematite are found to affect the performance of hematite electrodes considerably. Herein, we present hematite thin films fabricated via one-step oxidation of Fe by rapid thermal processing (RTP). In particular, we investigate the effect of oxidation temperature on the PEC properties of hematite. Films prepared at 750 °C show the highest activity towards water oxidation. These films show the largest average grain size and the highest charge carrier density, as determined from electron microscopy and impedance spectroscopy analysis. We believe that the fast processing enabled by RTP makes this technique a preferred method for investigation of novel materials and architectures, potentially also on nanostructured electrodes, where retaining high surface area is crucial to maximize performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number40500
    JournalScientific Reports
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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