Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting at Hematite Photoanodes by Effect of a NiFe-Oxide co-Catalyst

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Title: Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting at Hematite Photoanodes by Effect of a NiFe-Oxide co-Catalyst
Authors: Lo Vecchio, Carmelo | Trocino, Stefano | Zignani, Sabrina Campagna | Baglio, Vincenzo | Carbone, Alessandra | Díez García, María Isabel | Contreras, Maxime | Gómez, Roberto | Aricò, Antonino Salvatore
Research Group/s: Grupo de Fotoquímica y Electroquímica de Semiconductores (GFES)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Química Física | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Electroquímica
Keywords: Low-cost semiconductors | Hematite photoanode | Cupric oxide photocathode | Solar to hydrogen efficiency | Photoelectrochemical cell | Photoelectrolysis
Knowledge Area: Química Física
Issue Date: 9-May-2020
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Vecchio CL, Trocino S, Zignani SC, Baglio V, Carbone A, Garcia MID, Contreras M, Gómez R, Aricò AS. Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting at Hematite Photoanodes by Effect of a NiFe-Oxide co-Catalyst. Catalysts. 2020; 10(5):525. doi:10.3390/catal10050525
Abstract: Tandem photoelectrochemical cells (PECs), made up of a solid electrolyte membrane between two low-cost photoelectrodes, were investigated to produce “green” hydrogen by exploiting renewable solar energy. The assembly of the PEC consisted of an anionic solid polymer electrolyte membrane (gas separator) clamped between an n-type Fe2O3 photoanode and a p-type CuO photocathode. The semiconductors were deposited on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) transparent substrates and the cell was investigated with the hematite surface directly exposed to a solar simulator. Ionomer dispersions obtained from the dissolution of commercial polymers in the appropriate solvents were employed as an ionic interface with the photoelectrodes. Thus, the overall photoelectrochemical water splitting occurred in two membrane-separated compartments, i.e., the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) at the anode and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at the cathode. A cost-effective NiFeOx co-catalyst was deposited on the hematite photoanode surface and investigated as a surface catalytic enhancer in order to improve the OER kinetics, this reaction being the rate-determining step of the entire process. The co-catalyst was compared with other well-known OER electrocatalysts such as La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.8CoO3 (LSFCO) perovskite and IrRuOx. The Ni-Fe oxide was the most promising co-catalyst for the oxygen evolution in the anionic environment in terms of an enhanced PEC photocurrent and efficiency. The materials were physico-chemically characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Sponsor: Authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 760930 (FotoH2 project).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/106889
ISSN: 2073-4344
DOI: 10.3390/catal10050525
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10050525
Appears in Collections:INV - GFES - Artículos de Revistas
Research funded by the EU

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