Laser-Textured Metal Substrates as Photoanodes for Enhanced PEC Water Splitting Reactions

Bialuschewski, D. and Hoppius, J.S. and Frohnhoven, R. and Deo, M. and Gönüllü, Y. and Fischer, T. and Gurevich, E.L. and Mathur, S.

Volume: 20 Pages:
DOI: 10.1002/adem.201800167
Published: 2018

We demonstrate the effect of femtosecond laser structuring of titanium substrates to increase the absorption, photoconversion, and overall photoelectrochemical water splitting (PEC) performance compared to pristine metal substrates, independent of any additional top coat layers. The influence of ultra short laser pulse patterning on PEC efficiency is investigated toward spectroscopic (UV-Vis), microscopic (SEM), crystallographic (XRD), and compositional (XPS) properties. The beneficial effect of a periodically patterned substrate is attributed to enhanced specific surface area and improved in-plane light trapping when compared to flat surfaces. Photoanodes for water splitting experiments fabricated by titanium and iron oxide films on laser pre-patterned Ti substrates are also found to show enhanced PEC efficiency (0.057 mA cm−2) when compared to unpatterened substrates (0.028 mA cm−2). The lower absolute PEC efficiencies are due to extreme thin films. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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