Synthesis and Photoelectrochemical Activity of α-Fe2O3−CdFe2O4 Hybrid Structure for the Water Oxidation Reaction

Michael Volokh, Mahmud Diab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electrochemical properties of spinel ferrites have been studied since the 1970s after the pioneering discovery of water electrolysis by using TiO2 as the photoanode in a photoelectrochemical cell. Several approaches have been developed to fabricate ferrites of different sizes and shapes but most of these methods suffer from several disadvantages, such as the difficulty to produce the ferrite in a thin layer form or on top of another (pre-prepared) structure as a second layer. Moreover, the formation process requires calcination at high temperatures, and the electrode fabrication requires an additional assembly method. Herein, a CdFe2O4 ferrite was formed via chemical vapor deposition of a single-source precursor directly on a hematite structure followed by an annealing process. This thermal treatment simultaneously achieves both activation of the hematite and the formation of CdFe2O4. Three different iron oxide (rectangular, nanobelt, and mesoporous) structures were examined as photoanode electrodes. The maximum current at 1.65 V vs. RHE of the mesoporous film was more than two times higher than the rectangular and the nanobelt films. Therefore, iron oxide with mesoporous structures was used to form the hybrid structure of α-Fe2O3−CdFe2O4. The hybrid structure presents stable and high photocurrent density (about 20 % enhancement in the measured maximum current density at 1.65 V vs. RHE).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202000059
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • CdFeO
  • CdS
  • Heterostructure
  • hybrid structures
  • water oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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