Reactive ballistic deposition of α-Fe2O3 thin films for photoelectrochemical water oxidation

Nathan T. Hahn, Heechang Ye, David W. Flaherty, Allen J. Bard, C. Buddie Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the preparation of α-Fe2O3 electrodes using a technique known as reactive ballistic deposition in which iron metal is evaporatively deposited in an oxygen ambient for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water oxidation. By manipulating synthesis parameters such as deposition angle, film thickness, and annealing temperature, we find that it is possible to optimize the structural and morphological properties of such films in order to improve their PEC efficiency. Incident photon to current conversion efficiencies (IPCE) are used to calculate an AM1.5 photocurrent of 0.55 mA/cm2 for optimized films with an IPCE reaching 10% at 420 nm in 1 M KOH at +0.5 V versus Ag/AgCl. We also note that the commonly observed low photoactivity of extremely thin hematite films on fluorine-doped tin oxide substrates may be improved by modification of annealing conditions in some cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1977-1986
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematite
  • Nanostructured
  • Photocatalysis
  • Solar
  • Water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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