Revealing the Influence of Doping and Surface Treatment on the Surface Carrier Dynamics in Hematite Nanorod Photoanodes

Gurudayal, Laurence M. Peter, Lydia H. Wong, Fatwa F. Abdi

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Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation is considered to be the rate-limiting step of the two half-reactions in light-driven water splitting. Consequently, considerable effort has focused on improving the performance of photoanodes for water oxidation. While these efforts have met with some success, the mechanisms responsible for improvements resulting from photoanode modifications are often difficult to determine. This is mainly caused by the entanglement of numerous properties that influence the PEC performance, particularly processes that occur at the photoanode/electrolyte interface. In this study, we set out to elucidate the effects on the surface carrier dynamics of hematite photoanodes of introducing manganese (Mn) into hematite nanorods and of creating a core-shell structure. Intensity-modulated photocurrent spectroscopy (IMPS) measurements reveal that the introduction of Mn into hematite not only increases the rate constant for hole transfer but also reduces the rate constant for surface recombination. In contrast, the core-shell architecture evidently passivates the surface states where recombination occurs; no change is observed for the charge transfer rate constant, whereas the surface recombination rate constant is suppressed by ∼1 order of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41265-41272
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number47
Early online date3 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017


  • EIS
  • hematite
  • impedance
  • IMPS
  • PEC water splitting
  • SIMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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