Hydrogenation of ZnFe2O4 Flat Films: Effects of the Pre-Annealing Temperature on the Photoanodes Efficiency for Water Oxidation

The effects induced by post-synthesis hydrogenation on ZnFe2O4 flat films in terms of photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance of photoanodes for water oxidation have been deeply investigated as a function of the pre-annealing temperature of the materials. The structure and morphology of the films greatly affect the efficacy of the post synthesis treatment. In fact, highly compact films are obtained upon pre-annealing at high temperatures, and this limits the exposure of the material bulk to the reductive H2 atmosphere, making the treatment largely ineffective. On the other hand, a mild hydrogen treatment greatly enhances the separation of photoproduced charges in films pre-annealed at lower temperatures, as a result of the introduction of oxygen vacancies with n-type character. A comparison between present results and those obtained with ZnFe2O4 nanorods clearly demonstrates that specific structural and/or surface properties, together with the initial film morphology, differently affect the overall contribution of post-synthesis hydrogenation on the efficiency of zinc ferrite-based photoanodes.

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Surfaces, 3, 1, 93-104
Mar 12 2020
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 Record created 2020-07-16, last modified 2020-07-16

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