Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting holds great promise for harvesting solar energy. We found that the high energy electron beam irradiation has a strong influence on the photoelectrochemical water splitting performance of aerosol deposited (AD) TiO2 thin films. A high energy electron beam with energy of 0.2 MeV was used for modifying the surface structure of TiO2 thin films. The electron beam irradiated film showed an enhanced water splitting activity as compared to the non-irradiated, pure AD TiO 2 films. The pure TiO2 films produced a photocurrent density of ∼40 A cm-2 at -0.8 V vs. Ag/AgCl, whereas the electron beam irradiated TiO2 films showed a pronounced increase in the photocurrent density of ∼205 A cm-2 at -0.8 V vs. Ag/AgCl under UV light illumination. The chemical composition, surface morphology and roughness of the AD films were investigated. The photoresponse characteristics of the films before and after the e-beam irradiation were compared. We demonstrated that the e-beam irradiation technology can effectively alter the surface micro and nanostructure of semiconductor photocatalysts to significantly improve the water splitting activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)