Vacuum-annealing induces sub-surface redox-states in surfactant-structured Α-Fe2O3 photoanodes prepared by ink-jet printing

Alexander N. Bondarchuk, Laurence M. Peter, Gabriela P. Kissling, Elena Madrid, Josué A. Aguilar-Martínez, Zuhayr Rymansaib, Pejman Iravani, Murilo Gromboni, Lucia H. Mascaro, Aron Walsh, Frank Marken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Transparent nano-structured hematite (α-Fe2O3) films of approximately 550 nm thickness on tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) have been obtained conveniently by ink-jet printing of a Fe(NO3)3/Brij® O10 precursor ink and subsequent annealing at 500 °C in air. When illuminated with a blue LED (λ = 455 nm, ca. 100 mW cm−2), the hematite films exhibited photocurrents of up to 70 μA cm−2 at 0.4 V vs. SCE in 0.1 M NaOH electrolyte. Thermal annealing in vacuum at 500 °C for 2 h increased photocurrents more than three times to 230 μA cm−2 in agreement with previous literature reports for pure hematite materials. These results suggest that a simple ink-jetting process with surfactants is viable. The effects of vacuum-annealing on the photoelectrical properties of α-Fe2O3 films are discussed in terms of a sub-surface state templating hypothesis based on data gathered from photo-transients, field emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis, X-ray diffraction, photocurrent spectra, and cyclic voltammetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.N.B. and J.A.A.-M. thank the National Science and Technology Council of Mexico (CONACYT) for the financial support of their research. A.W. acknowledges a University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society. E.M. thanks EPSRC (EP/K004956/1) for support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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