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Title: Atomic layer deposition grown MO{sub x} thin films for solar water splitting: Prospects and challenges

The magnitude of energy challenge not only calls for efficient devices but also for abundant, inexpensive, and stable photoactive materials that can enable efficient light harvesting, charge separation and collection, as well as chemical transformations. Photoelectrochemical systems based on semiconductor materials have the possibility to transform solar energy directly into chemical energy the so-called “solar hydrogen.” The current challenge lies in the harvesting of a larger fraction of electromagnetic spectrum by enhancing the absorbance of electrode materials. In this context, atomically precise thin films of metal oxide semiconductors and their multilayered junctions are promising candidates to integrate high surface areas with well-defined electrode–substrate interface. Given its self-limited growth mechanism, the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique offers a wide range of capabilities to deposit and modify materials at the nanoscale. In addition, it opens new frontiers for developing precursor chemistry that is inevitable to design new processes. Herein, the authors review the properties and potential of metal oxide thin films deposited by ALD for their application in photoelectrochemical water splitting application. The first part of the review covers the basics of ALD processes followed by a brief discussion on the electrochemistry of water splitting reaction. The second part focuses on differentmore » MO{sub x} films deposited by atomic layer deposition for water splitting applications; in this section, The authors discuss the most explored MO{sub x} semiconductors, namely, Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, TiO{sub 2}, WO{sub 3}, and ZnO, as active materials and refer to their application as protective coatings, conductive scaffolds, or in heterojunctions. The third part deals with the current challenges and future prospects of ALD processed MO{sub x} thin films for water splitting reactions.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cologne, Greinstrasse 6, D-50939 Cologne (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22392089
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, Vacuum, Surfaces and Films; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Vacuum Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; DEPOSITION; ELECTRIC CONTACTS; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; FERRITES; HETEROJUNCTIONS; IRON OXIDES; PROTECTIVE COATINGS; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; THIN FILMS; TITANIUM OXIDES; TUNGSTEN OXIDES; WATER; ZINC OXIDES