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Proceedings Paper

Nanostructured thin-film tungsten trioxide photoanodes for solar water and sea-water splitting
Author(s): Jan Augustynski; Renata Solarska; Hans Hagemann; Clara Santato
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Paper Abstract

About 3 μm thick tungsten trioxide film electrodes consisting of partly sintered, 40-80 nm in diameter, particles deposited on conducting glass substrates exhibit high photon-to-current conversion efficiencies for the photooxidation of water, exceeding 70% at 400 nm. This is facilitated by a ca. 40% film porosity resulting in high contact area with the electrolyte. It is shown that the activity of the WO3 electrodes towards photooxidation of water is enhanced by addition of even small amounts of halide (Cl-, Br-) ions to the acidic electrolyte. Photoelectrolysis experiments performed either in acidic electrolytes containing chloride or bromide anions or in a 0.5 M NaCl solution, under simulated 1.5 AM solar illumination, demonstrated long term stability of the photocurrents. Oxygen remains the main product of the photoanodic reaction even in a 0.5 M NaCl solution, a composition close to the sea water, with chlorine accounting for ca. 20% of current efficiency.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6340, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology, 63400J (8 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680667
Show Author Affiliations
Jan Augustynski, Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
Renata Solarska, Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
Hans Hagemann, Univ. de Genève (Switzerland)
Clara Santato, Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6340:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology
Lionel Vayssieres, Editor(s)

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