Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellow







ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

5 results found

Moss B, Wang Q, Butler K, Grau-Crespo R, Selim S, Regoutz A, Hisatomi T, Godin R, Payne D, Kafizas A, Domen K, Steier L, Durrant Jet al., 2021, Linking in situ charge accumulation to electronic structure in doped SrTiO3 reveals design principles for hydrogen-evolving photocatalysts, Nature Materials, Vol: 20, Pages: 511-517, ISSN: 1476-1122

Recently, high solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies were demonstrated using La and Rh co-doped SrTiO3 (La,Rh:SrTiO3) incorporated into a low-cost and scalable Z-scheme device, known as a photocatalyst sheet. However, the unique properties that enable La,Rh:SrTiO3 to support this impressive performance are not fully understood. Combining in situ spectroelectrochemical measurements with density functional theory and photoelectron spectroscopy produces a depletion model of Rh:SrTiO3 and La,Rh:SrTiO3 photocatalyst sheets. This reveals remarkable properties, such as deep flatband potentials (+2 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode) and a Rh oxidation state dependent reorganization of the electronic structure, involving the loss of a vacant Rh 4d mid-gap state. This reorganization enables Rh:SrTiO3 to be reduced by co-doping without compromising the p-type character. In situ time-resolved spectroscopies show that the electronic structure reorganization induced by Rh reduction controls the electron lifetime in photocatalyst sheets. In Rh:SrTiO3, enhanced lifetimes can only be obtained at negative applied potentials, where the complete Z-scheme operates inefficiently. La co-doping fixes Rh in the 3+ state, which results in long-lived photogenerated electrons even at very positive potentials (+1 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode), in which both components of the complete device operate effectively. This understanding of the role of co-dopants provides a new insight into the design principles for water-splitting devices based on bandgap-engineered metal oxides.

Journal article

Corby S, Tecedor M-G, Tengeler S, Steinert C, Moss B, Mesa CA, Heiba HF, Wilson AA, Kaiser B, Jaegermann W, Francas L, Gimenez S, Durrant JRet al., 2020, Separating bulk and surface processes in NiO(x)electrocatalysts for water oxidation, SUSTAINABLE ENERGY & FUELS, Vol: 4, Pages: 5024-5030, ISSN: 2398-4902

Journal article

Moss B, Le H, Corby S, Morita K, Selim S, Sotelo-Vazquez C, Chen Y, Borthwick A, Wilson A, Blackman C, Durrant JR, Walsh A, Kafizas Aet al., 2020, Anisotropic electron transport limits performance of Bi2WO6 photoanodes, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol: 124, Pages: 18859-18867, ISSN: 1932-7447

Bi2WO6 is one of the simplest members of the versatile Aurivillius oxide family of materials. As an intriguing model system for Aurivillius oxides, BiVO4 exhibits low water oxidation onset potentials (∼0.5–0.6 VRHE) for driven solar water oxidation. Despite this, Bi2WO6 also produces low photocurrents in comparison to other metal oxides. Due to a lack of in situ studies, the reasons for such poor performance are not understood. In this study, Bi2WO6 photoanodes are synthesized by aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition. The charge carrier dynamics of Bi2WO6 are studied in situ under water oxidation conditions, and the rate of both bulk recombination and water oxidation is found to be comparable to other metal oxide photoanodes. However, the rate of electron extraction is at least 10 times slower than the slowest kinetics previously reported in an oxide photoanode. First-principles analysis indicates that the slow electron extraction kinetics are linked to a strong anisotropy in the conduction band. Preferred or epitaxial growth along the conductive axes is a strategy to overcome slow electron transport and low photocurrent densities in layered materials such as Bi2WO6.

Journal article

Mesa CA, Steier L, Moss B, Francas L, Thorne JE, Gr├Ątzel M, Durrant JRet al., 2020, Impact of synthesis route on the water oxidation kinetics of hematite photoanodes, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol: 11, Pages: 7285-7290, ISSN: 1948-7185

Operando spectroelectrochemical analysis is used to determine the water oxidation reaction kinetics for hematite photoanodes prepared using four different synthetic procedures. Whilst these photoanodes exhibit very different current / voltage performance, their underlying water oxidation kinetics are found to be almost invariant. Higher temperature thermal annealing was found to correlate with a shift in the photocurrent onset potential towards less positive potentials, assigned to a suppression of both back electron-hole recombination and of charge accumulation in intraband-gap states, indicating these intraband-gap states do not contribute directly to water oxidation.

Journal article

Moss B, Lim KK, Beltram A, Moniz S, Tang J, Fornasiero P, Barnes P, Durrant J, Kafizas AGet al., 2017, Comparing photoelectrochemical water oxidation, recombination kinetics and charge trapping in the three polymorphs of TiO2, Scientific Reports, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2045-2322

In this article we present the first comparative study of the transient decay dynamics of photo-generated charges for the three polymorphs of TiO2. To our knowledge, this is the first such study of the brookite phase of TiO2 over timescales relevant to the kinetics of water splitting. We find that the behavior of brookite, both in the dynamics of relaxation of photo-generated charges and in energetic distribution, is similar to the anatase phase of TiO2. Moreover, links between the rate of recombination of charge carriers, their energetic distribution and the mode of transport are made in light of our findings and used to account for the differences in water splitting efficiency observed across the three polymorphs.

Journal article

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