Chem Sci. 2023 Jan 20;14(7):1861-1870. doi: 10.1039/d2sc05802b. eCollection 2023 Feb 15.
Reaction sites, surface states, and surface loaded electrocatalysts are photoinduced charge storage sites and critical to photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance, however the charge transfer mechanisms involved in the three remain poorly understood. Herein, we studied the charge transfer processes in hematite (Fe2O3) without/with loaded cobalt phosphate (CoPi) by operando photoinduced absorption (PIA) spectroscopy. The loaded CoPi receives trapped holes in surface states at low potential and directly captures holes in the valence band at high potential. Through the dynamic hole storage mechanisms, loaded CoPi on Fe2O3 facilitates spatial charge separation and serves as a charge transfer mediator, instead of serving as a catalyst to change the water oxidation mechanism (constant third-order reaction). The spatial separation of photoinduced charges between Fe2O3 and CoPi results in more long-lived holes on the Fe2O3 surface to improve PEC water oxidation kinetically. The dynamic charge collecting mechanism sheds light on the understanding and designing of electrocatalyst loaded photoanodes.
PMID:36819856 | PMC:PMC9930927 | DOI:10.1039/d2sc05802b