In-situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy on photoelectrochemical devices

This project is funded by Photo4Future, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network.

The project is driven by the desire to understand (photo)electrochemical thin film devices by X-ray spectroscopic methods. High-energy resolution fluorescence-detected (HERFD) X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) provides a detailed electronic structure picture of our metal-oxide materials. We utilize first-row transition metal oxides (e.g. ZnFe2O4) as n-type semiconducting photoelectrodes for bias-assisted solar water oxidation, an elementary step in artificial photosynthesis. The second application is an electrochromic thin film offering tunable visible light transparency and features a rare-earth oxide, Pr6O11.

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Both applications depend fundamentally on the materials’ electronic properties (band structure) that govern their optical properties (light absorption) and how they can be modified electrochemically.

Schematic illustration of the photoelectrochemical water splitting and studying the process using XAS:

Contact for this project: Philipp Jäker