Integration of cobalt-phosphate catalyst and titanium dioxide interlayer in the hematite photoanodes to improve photoelectrochemical water splitting for hydrogen production

Zhongyuan Zhou, Yanmei Liang, Xiu Shuang Xing, Kunhao Zhang, Yongsheng Niu, Liguo Yang, Fang Wang, Zhanhu Guo, Haixiang Song*, Shaolong Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Photoelectrochemical water splitting (PEC-WS) is an environmentally benign technology for hydrogen generation. Hematite (α-Fe2O3) photoanodes have received extensive attention in PEC-WS field due to their high absorption coefficient and suitable bandgap, but suffer from severe carrier recombination at surfaces and interfaces and poor kinetics of oxygen evolution reaction. The α-Fe2O3 photoanode, built by coupling of the electron transport layer as interface energetics and surface catalyst, can improve the PEC-WS performance through combining the advantages of diverse active sites and synergy effect. Herein, α-Fe2O3 photoanodes, integrated with the electron transport layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and surface catalyst of cobalt-phosphate (Co-Pi), exhibit an excellent long-term stability up to 10 h, a significant enhancement over 100% in the photocurrent at 1.23 VRHE and a remark cathodic shift of 210 mV in the onset potential. On account of analyzing the carrier-transport kinetic, the significant PEC-WS improvement can be ascribed to the fact that the TiO2 and Co-Pi synergistically enhance the photogenerated-carrier separation and transfer efficiencies. The main role of Co-Pi catalyst is to decrease surface recombination rate. In addition, heterojunctions formed on the interface and surface can further promote photogenerated-carrier separation. This work provides a state-of-the-art strategy for surface and interface engineering to boost the carrier extraction and hydrogen production efficiency in photoelectric conversion field. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
Number of pages12
JournalAdvanced Composites and Hybrid Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2023

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