Thin Solid Films, Vol.655, 27-33, 2018
Impedance spectroscopy study of SrTiO3 pulse laser deposited photoelectrodes
Strontium titanate (STO) is an oxide that has found application in several technological areas and is a candidate electrode for photoelectrochemical cells (PECs). In this study, STO thin films were prepared via pulsed laser deposition to function as PEC electrodes. Effects of post-deposition annealing in a reducing environment on the photocatalytic activity of these electrodes are characterized by measurements of optical and electrochemical properties of the films. These observations are used to obtain insight into how the crystal and electronic properties of these electrodes are affected by the annealing process. Low annealing temperatures produce non-crystalline STO films that exhibit low photocatalytic activity. Annealing at 500(degrees)C and higher allowed the formation of crystalline STO, which showed substantially higher ultraviolet-driven photocurrent densities. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy reveals large decreases in charge transfer resistance that is associated with improved performance of these films. Oxygen evolution at these electrodes was confirmed with a rotating ring-disk electrode setup. Porous versions of the STO films were investigated to evaluate the effect larger surface area can have in enhancing the water oxidation performance.