Ultrafast Charge Carrier Recombination and Trapping in Hematite Photoanodes under Applied Bias
Transient absorption spectroscopy on subpicosecond to second time scales is used to investigate photogenerated charge carrier recombination in Si-doped nanostructured hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) photoanodes as a function of applied bias. For unbiased hematite, this recombination exhibits a 50% decay time of similar to 6 ps, similar to 10(3) times faster than that of TiO2 under comparable conditions. Anodic bias significantly retards hematite recombination dynamics, and causes the appearance of electron trapping on ps-mu s time scales. These ultrafast recombination dynamics, their retardation by applied bias, and the associated electron trapping are discussed in terms of their implications for efficient water oxidation.