Facile fabrication of tin-doped hematite photoelectrodes - effect of doping on magnetic properties and performance for light-induced water splitting
We present a new, easily scalable method for the deposition of nanocrystalline hematite photoelectrodes based on the spin-coating of a mixed solution containing tin(II) and iron(III) chlorides followed by thermal treatment. Our facile approach does not require any additional film-forming organic species and allows simple control of the photoelectrochemical performance of the electrode by adjusting the degree of tin doping. When annealed at 650 degrees C a strong increase in the water oxidation photocurrent is observed with increasing tin concentration. The maximum performance (0.45 mA cm(-2) at 1.43 V vs. RHE) was found at the highest possible tin loading (20 : 100, Sn : Fe). The contrasting performance of electrodes annealed at 650 degrees C and 800 degrees C suggests different activation processes for dopant diffusion and activation. The doping of tin into the crystal structure of hematite thin films is directly evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and indirectly by changes in the intrinsic magnetic parameters (Morin temperature, Neel temperature) of the hematite films. The magnetization measurements thus represent a potential technique to quantify doping amounts in hematite.