Dissolution of WO3 modified with IrOx overlayers during photoelectrochemical water splitting

Jenewein K, Knöppel J, Hofer A, Kormanyos A, Mayerhöfer B, Speck F, Bierling M, Thiele S, Bachmann J, Cherevko S (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Original Authors: Ken J. Jenewein, Julius Knöppel, André Hofer, Attila Kormányos, Britta Mayerhöfer, Florian D. Speck, Markus Bierling, Simon Thiele, Julien Bachmann, Serhiy Cherevko

Book Volume: 3

Pages Range: 128-136

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1002/sus2.107


WO3, an abundant transition metal semiconductor, is one of the most discussed materials to be used as a photoanode in photoelectrochemical water-splitting devices. The photoelectrochemical properties, such as photoactivity and selectivity of WO3 in different electrolytes, are already well understood. However, the understanding of stability, one of the most important properties for utilization in a commercial device, is still in the early stages. In this work, a photoelectrochemical scanning flow cell coupled to an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer is applied to determine the influence of co-catalyst overlayers on photoanode stability. Spray-coated WO3 photoanodes are used as a model system. Iridium is applied to the electrodes by atomic layer deposition in controlled layer thickness, as determined by ellipsometry and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Photoactivity of the iridium-modified WO3 photoanodes decreases with increasing iridium layer thickness. Partial blocking of the WO3 surface by iridium is proposed as the main cause of the decreased photoelectrochemical performance. On the other hand, the stability of WO3 is notably increased even in the presence of the thinnest investigated iridium overlayer. Based on our findings, we provide a set of strategies to synthesize nanocomposite photoelectrodes simultaneously possessing high photoelectrochemical activity and photostability.

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Jenewein, K., Knöppel, J., Hofer, A., Kormanyos, A., Mayerhöfer, B., Speck, F.,... Cherevko, S. (2023). Dissolution of WO3 modified with IrO<i>x</i> overlayers during photoelectrochemical water splitting. SusMat, 3(1), 128-136. https://doi.org/10.1002/sus2.107


Jenewein, Ken, et al. "Dissolution of WO3 modified with IrO<i>x</i> overlayers during photoelectrochemical water splitting." SusMat 3.1 (2023): 128-136.

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