Surface Modification of Tungsten Oxide-Based Photoanodes for Solar-Powered Hydrogen Production

N. Gaillard, J. Kaneshiro, E. L. Miller, L. Weinhardt, M. Bär, C. Heske, K. S. Ahn, Y. Yan, M. M. Al-Jassim

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We report on the development of tungsten-oxide-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting electrodes using surface modification techniques. The effect of molybdenum incorporation into the WO3 bulk or the surface region of the film is discussed. Our data indicate that Mo incorporation in the entire film (WO3:Mo) results in poor PEC performances, most likely due to defects that trap photo-generated charge carriers. However, compared to a pure WO3 (WO3:Mo)-based PEC electrode, a 20% (100%) increase of the photocurrent density at 1.6 V vs. SCE is observed if the Mo incorporation is limited to the near-surface region of the WO3 film. The resulting WO3:Mo/WO3 bilayer structure is formed by epitaxial growth of the WO3:Mo top layer on the WO3 bottom layer, which allows an optimization of the electronic structure induced by Mo incorporation while maintaining good crystallographic properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 13 Apr 200917 Apr 2009


Conference2009 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-520-48480


  • photochemical
  • physical vapor deposition
  • semiconducting


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