The charge separation efficiency of water oxidation photoanodes is modulated by depositing polyelectrolyte multilayers on their surface using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. The deposition of the polyelectrolyte multilayers of cationic poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) and anionic poly(styrene sulfonate) induces the formation of interfacial dipole layers on the surface of Fe2O3 and TiO2 photoanodes. The charge separation efficiency is modulated by tuning their magnitude and direction, which in turn can be achieved by controlling the number of bilayers and type of terminal polyelectrolytes, respectively. Specifically, the multilayers terminated with anionic poly(styrene sulfonate) exhibit a higher charge separation efficiency than those with cationic counterparts. Furthermore, the deposition of water oxidation molecular catalysts on top of interfacial dipole layers enables more efficient photoelectrochemical water oxidation. The approach exploiting the polyelectrolyte multilayers for improving the charge separation efficiency is effective regardless of pH and types of photoelectrodes. Considering the versatility of the LbL assembly, it is anticipated that this study will provide insights for the design and fabrication of efficient photoelectrodes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
S.B., D.K., and H.K. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2B3012148 and NRF-2018R1D1A1A02046918). It was also supported by the Nano-Material Technology Development Program (2017M3A7B4052802) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT of Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics