Targeting challenges of α-­Fe2O3 cathodes in catalysis: a fundamental surface science approach
Jesús Redondo a, Jan Michalička b, Giada Franceschi c, Břetislav Šmid a, Nishant Kumar b, Ondřej Man b, Matthias Blatnik b, Dominik Wrana a, Florian Kraushofer c, Benjamín Mallada d, Martin Švec d, Gareth Parkinson c, Martin Setvin a, Michele Riva c, Ulrike Diebold c, Jan Čechal b
a Charles University, Czech Republic
b CEITEC - Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology
c TU Wien, Getreidemarkt 9/BC/02, 1060, Wien
d Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics, Prague, Czech Republic, Cukrovarnická, 10, Prague, Czech Republic
Proceedings of International Conference on Frontiers in Electrocatalytic Transformations (INTERECT22)
València, Spain, 2022 November 21st - 22nd
Organizers: Sara Barja, Nongnuch Artrith and Matthew Mayer
Poster, Jesús Redondo, 026
Publication date: 11th October 2022

Hematite (Fe2O3) is a promising photocathode material for the CO2-neutral solar energy harvesting via photoelectrochemical water splitting (PWS). However, the actual efficiency of the PWS on hematite is well below the predicted (and industrially-required) 15 % solar-to-hydrogen conversion1. Efforts on hematite are hindered by a fundamental question: how do we control charge generation, transfer and recombination? These phenomena are linked to the surface and near-surface structure of catalysts, and how they evolve during a reaction. The fundamental understanding of the atomic structure and charge dynamics of hematite is critical for the rational design of photocathodes. Hematite α­Fe2O3(0001) and (1-102) are the most-investigated surfaces of iron oxide in photo- and electrocatalytic research. Here, we investigate the role of alkali and transition metals on the surface and bulk structure of α­Fe2O3(0001) from ultra-high vacuum (UHV) to near-ambient pressure (NAP) conditions. The generation of electron/holes and their recombination on natural and Ti- and Ni-doped α­Fe2O3(1-102) is probed by non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM).


Czech Science Foundation and funding from PIF outgoing project number 22-18079O

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