Hematite-Based Solar Water Splitting in Acidic Solutions: Functionalization by Mono- and Multilayers of Iridium Oxygen-Evolution Catalysts

Wei Li, Stafford W. Sheehan, Da He, Yumin He, Xiahui Yao, Ronald L. Grimm, Gary W. Brudvig, Dunwei Wang

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84 Citations (Scopus)


Solar water splitting in acidic solutions has important technological implications, but has not been demonstrated to date in a dual absorber photoelectrochemical cell. The lack of functionally stable water-oxidation catalysts (WOCs) in acids is a key reason for this slow development. The only WOCs that are stable at low pH are Ir-based systems, which are typically too expensive to be implemented broadly. It is now shown that this deficiency may be corrected by applying an ultra-thin monolayer of a molecular Ir WOC to hematite for solar water splitting in acidic solutions. The turn-on voltage is observed to shift cathodically by 250 mV upon the application of a monolayer of the molecular Ir WOC. When the molecular WOC is replaced by a heterogeneous multilayer derivative, stable solar water splitting for over 5 h is achieved with near-unity Faradaic efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11428-11432
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015



  • hematite
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • iridium
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • solar water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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