To understand the pathway of a photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction, quantitative knowledge of reaction intermediates is important. We describe here surface interrogation scanning electrochemical microscopy for this purpose (PEC SI-SECM), where a light pulse to a photoactive semiconductor film at a given potential generates intermediates that are then analyzed by a tip generated titrant at known times after the light pulse. The improvements were demonstrated for photoelectrochemical water oxidation (oxygen evolution) reaction on a hematite surface. The density of photoactive sites, proposed to be Fe4+ species, on a hematite surface was successfully quantified, and the photoelectrochemical water oxidation reaction dynamics were elucidated by time-dependent redox titration experiments. The new configuration of PEC SI-SECM should find expanded usage to understand and investigate more complicated PEC reactions with other materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry