Atomic Layer Deposition for Spatial Control of Redox Reaction Selectivity

W. Wilson McNeary, William Stinson, Daniel Esposito, Katherine Hurst

Research output: NRELPoster


Photocatalytic water splitting holds great potential in the pursuit of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen Shot initiative to bring the cost of H2 to $1/kg by 2031. A key challenge in the development of photocatalysts is increasing their overall solar-to-hydrogen efficiency by enhancing charge separation yields and redox selectivity. In this work, we use area selective ALD of oxide films to develop tunable interphase layers for selective oxidation and reduction reactions on a single substrate. This presentation details initial synthesis and characterization of Pt- and Au-based planar thin film electrodes in which Au regions were deactivated towards ALD growth through self-assembled thiol monolayers. The suppression of TiO2 ALD selectivity of thiols was assessed through ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and cyclic voltammetry. A patterned planar sample comprised of interdigitated arrays of Au and Pt, used as a surrogate for a photocatalyst particle containing two different co-catalysts, was exposed to ALD growth and removal of the inhibitor species. Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) was used then to probe the local activity of different regions of the patterned surface towards the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and iron oxidation and correlated with the ionic and e- blocking effects of the area selective ALD coating. We will also detail the application of these findings to the ongoing development of 3D, particle-based photocatalysts.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the AVS 23rd International Conference on Atomic Layer (ALD/ALE) 2023 Conference, 23-26 July 2023, Bellevue, Washington

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5100-86726


  • atomic layer deposition
  • photocatalyst
  • redox


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