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Improved current collection in WO3:Mo/WO3 bilayer photoelectrodes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

Eric L. Miller
Affiliation:
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Bjorn Marsen
Affiliation:
Solar Energy Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Lise-Meitner-Campus, D-14109 Berlin, Germany
Lothar Weinhardt
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4003; and Experimentelle Physik II, Universität Würzburg, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany
Marcus Bär
Affiliation:
Solar Energy Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Lise-Meitner-Campus, D-14109 Berlin, Germany; and Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4003
Clemens Heske
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4003
Mowafak M. Al-Jassim
Affiliation:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 80401
Corresponding
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Abstract

We report on the incorporation of molybdenum into tungsten oxide by co-sputtering and its effect on solar-powered photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Our study shows that Mo incorporation in the bulk of the film (WO3:Mo) results in poor PEC performance when compared with pure WO3, most likely due to defects that trap photo-generated charge carriers. However, when a WO3:Mo/WO3 bilayer electrode is used, a 20% increase of the photocurrent density at 1.6 V versus saturated calomel reference electrode is observed compared with pure WO3. Morphological and microstructural analysis of the WO3:Mo/WO3 bilayer structure reveals that it is formed by coherent growth of the WO3:Mo top layer on the WO3 bottom layer. This effect allows an optimization of the electronic surface structure of the electrode while maintaining good crystallographic properties in the bulk.

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Copyright © Materials Research Society 2010

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