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Design Guidelines for High-Performance Particle-Based Photoanodes for Water Splitting: Lanthanum Titanium Oxynitride as a Model.

ChemSusChem (2015-09-12)
Steve Landsmann, Alexandra E Maegli, Matthias Trottmann, Corsin Battaglia, Anke Weidenkaff, Simone Pokrant
ABSTRACT

Semiconductor powders are perfectly suited for the scalable fabrication of particle-based photoelectrodes, which can be used to split water using the sun as a renewable energy source. This systematic study is focused on variation of the electrode design using LaTiO2 N as a model system. We present the influence of particle morphology on charge separation and transport properties combined with post-treatment procedures, such as necking and size-dependent co-catalyst loading. Five rules are proposed to guide the design of high-performance particle-based photoanodes by adding or varying several process steps. We also specify how much efficiency improvement can be achieved using each of the steps. For example, implementation of a connectivity network and surface area enhancement leads to thirty times improvement in efficiency and co-catalyst loading achieves an improvement in efficiency by a factor of seven. Some of these guidelines can be adapted to non-particle-based photoelectrodes.

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