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Nano Research

Article Title

Domain-engineered BiFeO3 thin-film photoanodes for highly enhanced ferroelectric solar water splitting

Authors

Jaesun Song, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Taemin Ludvic Kim, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Research Institute of Advanced Materials, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
Jongmin Lee, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Sam Yeon Cho, Department of Physics, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Republic of Korea
Jaeseong Cha, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Sang Yun Jeong, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Hyunji An, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Wan Sik Kim, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Yen-Sook Jung, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Jiyoon Park, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Gun Young Jung, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Dong-Yu Kim, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Ji Young Jo, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
Sang Don Bu, Department of Physics, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Republic of Korea
Ho Won Jang, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Research Institute of Advanced Materials, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Republic of Korea
Sanghan Lee, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea

Keywords

BiFeO3, ferroelectric, photoelectrochemical, domain, orientation, pulsed laser deposition

Abstract

ABSTRACT In photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, charge separation and collection by the electric field in the photoactive material are the most important factors for improved conversion efficiency. Hence, ferroelectric oxides, in which electrons are the majority carriers, are considered promising photoanode materials because their high built-in potential, provided by their spontaneous polarization, can significantly enhance the separation and drift of photogenerated carriers. In this regard, the PEC properties of BiFeO3 thin-film photoanodes with different crystallographic orientations and consequent ferroelectric domain structures are investigated. As the crystallographic orientation changes from (001)pc via (110)pc to (111)pc, the ferroelastic domains in epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films become mono-variant and the spontaneous polarization levels increase to 110 μC/cm2. Consequently, the photocurrent density at 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl increases approximately 5.3-fold and the onset potential decreases by 0.180 V in the downward polarization state. It is further demonstrated that ferroelectric switching in the (111)pc BiFeO3 thin-film photoanode leads to an approximate change of 8,000% in the photocurrent density and a 0.330 V shift in the onset potential. This study strongly suggests that domain-engineered ferroelectric materials can be used as effective charge separation and collection layers for efficient solar water-splitting photoanodes.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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