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Low-Temperature Atomic Layer Deposition of Cobalt Oxide as an Effective Catalyst for Photoelectrochemical Water-Splitting Devices

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journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2017, 00:00 authored by Jiyeon Kim, Tomi Iivonen, Jani Hämäläinen, Marianna Kemell, Kristoffer Meinander, Kenichiro Mizohata, Lidong Wang, Jyrki Räisänen, Radim Beranek, Markku Leskelä, Anjana Devi
We have developed a low-temperature atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for depositing crystalline and phase pure spinel cobalt oxide (Co3O4) films at 120 °C using [Co­(tBu2DAD)2] and ozone as coreagent. X-ray diffraction, UV–vis spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and time-of-flight elastic recoil detection analysis were performed to characterize the structure and properties of the films. The as-deposited Co3O4 films are crystalline with a low amount of impurities (<2% C and <5% H) despite low deposition temperatures. Deposition of Co3O4 onto thin TiO2 photoanodes (100 nm) for water oxidation resulted in 30% improvement of photocurrent (after 10 ALD cycles yielding small Co3O4 particles) as compared to pristine TiO2 films), and exhibited no detrimental effects on photocurrent response up to 300 deposition cycles (approximately 35 nm thick films), demonstrating the applicability of the developed ALD process for deposition of effective catalyst particles and layers in photoelectrochemical water-splitting devices.