Enhanced visible-light photoelectrochemical performance via chemical vapor deposition of Fe2O3 on a WO3 film to form a heterojunction


A heterojunction photoanode of Fe2O3 loaded on a WO3 film on a fluorine-doped tin oxide substrate (FTO-WO3/Fe2O3) was prepared via a simple hydrothermal and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth method. The photoanode showed higher photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting activity than that of the pristine FTO-WO3 under simulated sunlight because of the synergistic effect of Fe2O3 and WO3. The as-synthesized material was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The photocurrent density was estimated by linear sweep voltammetry and further confirmed using intensity-modulated photocurrent spectra. Experiments demonstrated that the coated Fe2O3 enhanced the separation and migration efficiencies of the photoinduced electrons and holes, improving the PEC water-splitting properties. The FTO-WO3/Fe2O3 photoanode showed a 1.25 times enhancement in photocurrent density compared with FTO-WO3. This result suggests that facile chemical vapor deposition growth is an effective way to fabricate heterojunctions and improve the properties of WO3 photoanodes for PEC water-splitting applications.

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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51672143 and 51808303), Shandong Province Natural Science Foundation (ZR2019BEE027, ZR2017MEM018, ZR2018BEM002), Taishan Scholars Program of Shandong Province, Outstanding Youth of Natural Science in Shandong Province (JQ201713) and Australian Research Council Discovery Project (No. 170103317).

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Correspondence to Jin Sun or Yuan-Yuan Sun.

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Zhang, YF., Zhu, YK., Lv, CX. et al. Enhanced visible-light photoelectrochemical performance via chemical vapor deposition of Fe2O3 on a WO3 film to form a heterojunction. Rare Met. 39, 841–849 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12598-019-01311-5

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  • WO3
  • Fe2O3
  • Heterojunction
  • Water splitting