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Template-Free Nanostructured Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide Scaffolds for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

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journal contribution
posted on 29.09.2019, 17:29 authored by Ivan Garcia-Torregrosa, Jochem H. J. Wijten, Silvia Zanoni, Freddy E. Oropeza, Jan P. Hofmann, Emiel J. M. Hensen, Bert M. Weckhuysen
The synthesis and characterization of highly stable and conductive F:SnO2 (FTO) nanopyramid arrays are investigated, and their use as scaffolds for water splitting is demonstrated. Current densities during the oxygen evolution reaction with a NiFeOx catalyst at 2 V vs reversible hydrogen electrode were increased 5-fold when substituting commercial FTO (TEC 15) by nanostructured FTO scaffolds. In addition, thin α-Fe2O3 films (∼50 nm thick) were employed as a proof of concept to show the effect of our nanostructured scaffolds during photoelectrochemical water splitting. Double-layer capacitance measurements showed a drastic increase of the relative electrochemically active surface area for the nanostructured samples, in agreement with the observed photocurrent enhancement, whereas UV–vis spectroscopy indicates full absorption of visible light at wavelengths below 600 nm.