Phosphate ions interfacial drift layer to improve the performance of CoFe−Prussian blue hematite photoanode toward water splitting

Abdul Zeeshan Khan, Tarek A. Kandiel, Safwat Abdel-Azeim, Tahir Naveed Jahangir, Khalid Alhooshani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Charge recombination at the surface of hematite photoanode is among the main issues that diminish its photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting efficiency. Herein, we address this issue by anchoring phosphate ions (Pi) layer between hematite's surface and CoFe−Prussian blue analogue (CoFe−PBA) water oxidation catalyst (WOC). The PEC results revealed that the Pi interfacial layer is crucial for boosting the PEC activity of CoFe−PBA/hematite photoanode. It improves the activity by 2.9-fold at 1.23 VRHE. The analysis of time and frequency-resolved results revealed that the synergy between the Pi layer and CoFe−PBA catalyst prolongs the photogenerated holes lifetime, reduces their charge transfer resistance, and suppresses the surface recombination. The DFT simulations suggested that the Pi interfacial layer drifts the electrostatic potential of the hematite's surface toward more negative potential and thus facilities the diffusion of the photogenerated holes toward the hematite/CoFe−PBA/electrolyte interfaces making them dynamically apposite to oxidize water on CoFe−PBA WOC.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121014
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
StatePublished - Dec 21 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-25
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the support provided by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) through Project No. DF201010. S. A. thanks the Supercomputer Shaheen at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, for using its computational resources.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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