The influence of different electrodeposition E/t programs on the photoelectrochemical properties of α-Fe2O3 thin films

Ricardo S. Schrebler, Hernán Altamirano, Paula Grez, Francisco V. Herrera, Eduardo C. Muñoz, Luis A. Ballesteros, Ricardo A. Córdova, Humberto Gómez, Enrique A. Dalchiele

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In this work morphological, structural and photoelectrochemical properties of n-type α-Fe2O3 (hematite) thin films synthetized by means of two different electrochemical procedures: potential cycling electrodeposition (PC) and potential pulsed electrodeposition (PP) have been studied. The X-ray diffraction measurements showed that the films obtained after a thermal treatment at 520 °C present a nanocrystalline character. Scanning electron microscopy allowed finding that hematite films obtained by PP technique exhibit nanostructured morphology. The electrochemical and capacitance (Mott-Schottky and parallel capacitance) measurements showed that when in the PC and PP procedures the anodic limit Eλ,A is being made more anodic, a decrease of the majority AR carriers concentration (ND) and the surface states number has been observed. The photovoltammetry measurements indicated that the hematite films formed with the PP technique present a photocurrent one order of magnitude higher than the ones exhibited by the iron oxide films formed by PC. For instance, PP hematite films exhibit photovoltaic conversion efficiencies of 0.96% which are 2.5 times higher than the corresponding to the PC ones (0.38%). The maximum incident photon-to-current efficiency measured at λ = 370 and 600 nm was observed for hematite films grown by the PP procedure. By means of the photocurrent transient technique a decrease in the recombination process for those samples synthesized by PP was observed. The results obtained are discussed considering the influence of the anodic limit of the potential employed during the preparation of the iron oxyhydroxide (β-FeOOH) precursor film, all of this related to a decrease of the oxygen defects in this material and to a decrease of Fe(II) amount that is formed during the electrodeposition process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6844-6852
Number of pages9
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number23
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2010


  • Akaganeite
  • Electrodeposition
  • Hematite
  • Photoelectrochemistry


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