The effect of oxygen vacancies in the photoelectrochemical performance of metal oxide photoanodes
Camilo A. Mesa a, Ramón Arcas a, Sacha Corby b, Francisco Fabregat-Santiago a, James R. Durrant b, Elena Mas-Marzá a, Sixto Giménez a
a Institute of Advanced Materials (INAM), Universitat Jaume I (UJI), Avenida de Vicent Sos Baynat s/n, Castelló de la Plana, Spain
b Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, Molecular Sciences Research Hub, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 0BZ, UK
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT)
València, Spain, 2021 November 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Elena Mas Marzá and Ward van der Stam
Poster, Camilo A. Mesa, 014
Publication date: 10th November 2021

Photoelectrocatalysis has emerged as a promising process to store solar energy into fuels and high added-value chemicals to decarbonise the energy and fine chemical sectors. In this process the generation of H2, carbon-based chemicals or NH3 from H+, CO2 and N2 reduction, is usually limited by the oxidation reaction taking place at the photoanode, in particular in metal-oxide photoanodes. The photoelectrochemical performance of these photoanodes vary depending on their synthetic route and post-synthesis treatment that can lead to crystal defects such as oxygen vacancies. However, the chemical nature of such oxygen vacancies and their role in photoelectrochemical oxidation of water or organic substrates to produce high added-value chemicals is still in debate.

In this talk, I will present a spectroscopic, microscopic and electrochemical analysis of the chemical nature of light-induced oxygen vacancies in one of the most studied photoanodes such as BiVO4. Oxygen vacancies in these BiVO4 photoanodes were produced by light exposure treatments and are associated with the migration of Bi towards the surface forming nanoparticles.[1] Additionally, I will show the role of oxygen vacancies in the photoelectrochemical behaviour of BiVO4, WO3[2] and a-Fe2O3[3] photoanodes and their role in the water oxidation mechanism as example.

The authors want to acknowledge the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) from Spain (ENE2017-85087-C3- 1-R and PID2020-116093RB-C4), University Jaume I (UJIB2019- 20) and Generalitat Valenciana (PROMETEO/2020/028) for financial support. Serveis Centrals d’Instrumentació Científica from UJI are also
acknowledged for SEM, TEM Raman and XRD measurements. M. C. S and J. A. acknowledge funding from Generalitat de
Catalunya 2017 SGR 327. ICN2 is supported by the Severo Ochoa program from Spanish MINECO (Grant No. SEV-2017-
0706) and is funded by the CERCA Programme / Generalitat de Catalunya. M.C.S. has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754510 (PROBIST) and the Severo Ochoa programme. C.A.M acknowledges the University Jaume I for the postdoc
fellowship POSDOC/2019/20. Dr. Beatriz Julián-López is also acknowledged for her help with the measurements with the
infrared laser beam.

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