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Photoactivity improvement of TiO2 electrodes by thin hole transport layers of reduced graphene oxide

AuthorsHernández-Ferrer, Javier; Ansón Casaos, Alejandro ; Víctor-Román, Sandra; Sanahuja-Parejo, Olga; Martínez Fernández de Landa, María Teresa; Villacampa, Belén; Benito, Ana M. ; Maser, Wolfgang K.
KeywordsTitanium dioxide
Reduced graphene oxide
Hole-transport layer
Photo electrochemistry
Óxido de grafeno reducido
Capa de conducción de agujeros
Issue Date19-Dec-2018
CitationElectrochimica Acta 298: 279-287 (2019)
AbstractNanostructured TiO2 and graphene-based materials constitute components of actual interest in devices related to solar energy conversion and storage. In this work, we show that a thin layer of electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ECrGO), covering nanostructured TiO2 photoelectrodes, can significantly improve the photoactivity. In order to understand the working principle, ECrGO/TiO2 photoelectrodes with different ECrGO thicknesses were prepared and studied by a set of photoelectrochemical measurements. Methanol in alkaline conditions was employed as effective hole acceptor probe to elucidate the electronic phenomena in the electrode layers and interfaces. These studies underline the hole accepting properties of ECrGO and reveal the formation of a p-n junction at the interface between ECrGO and TiO2. It is shown for the first time that the resulting space charge region of about 10 nm defines the operational functionality of the ECrGO layer. Films thinner than the space charge region act as hole transport layer (HTL), which efficiently transfers holes to the liquid interface thus leading to enhanced photoactivity. Thicker films however act as hole blocking layer (HBL), resulting in a systematic decrease of the photoactivity. The finding of a thickness dependent threshold value for the operation of ECrGO as HTL and HBL is of general interest for the fabrication of optoelectronic devices with improved performance.
Description9 Figuras, 2 Tablas. Datos suplementarios de este artículo disponibles en línea en la página web del editor.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2018.12.085
Appears in Collections:(ICB) Artículos
(ICMA) Artículos
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