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Journal of Photonics for Energy • Open Access

Photoelectrochemical and theoretical investigations of spinel type ferrites (MxFe3xO4) for water splitting: a mini-review
Author(s): Dereje H. Taffa; Ralf Dillert; Anna C. Ulpe; Katharina C. L. Bauerfeind; Thomas Bredow; Detlef W. Bahnemann; Michael Wark

Paper Abstract

Solar-assisted water splitting using photoelectrochemical cells (PECs) is one of the promising pathways for the production of hydrogen for renewable energy storage. The nature of the semiconductor material is the primary factor that controls the overall energy conversion efficiency. Finding semiconductor materials with appropriate semiconducting properties (stability, efficient charge separation and transport, abundant, visible light absorption) is still a challenge for developing materials for solar water splitting. Owing to the suitable bandgap for visible light harvesting and the abundance of iron-based oxide semiconductors, they are promising candidates for PECs and have received much research attention. Spinel ferrites are subclasses of iron oxides derived from the classical magnetite (FeIIFe2IIIO4) in which the FeII is replaced by one (some cases two) additional divalent metals. They are generally denoted as MxFe3xO4 (M=Ca, Mg, Zn, Co, Ni, Mn, and so on) and mostly crystallize in spinel or inverse spinel structures. In this mini review, we present the current state of research in spinel ferrites as photoelectrode materials for PECs application. Strategies to improve energy conversion efficiency (nanostructuring, surface modification, and heterostructuring) will be presented. Furthermore, theoretical findings related to the electronic structure, bandgap, and magnetic properties will be presented and compared with experimental results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 October 2016
PDF: 25 pages
J. Photon. Energy 7(1) 012009 doi: 10.1117/1.JPE.7.012009
Published in: Journal of Photonics for Energy Volume 7, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Dereje H. Taffa, Carl von Ossietzky Univ. Oldenburg (Germany)
Ralf Dillert, Leibniz Univ. Hannover (Germany)
Anna C. Ulpe, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Katharina C. L. Bauerfeind, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Thomas Bredow, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Detlef W. Bahnemann, Leibniz Univ. Hannover (Germany)
Saint-Petersburg State Univ. (Russian Federation)
Michael Wark, Carl von Ossietzky Univ. Oldenburg (Germany)

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