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Research Article Open Access
This work describes hematite (a-Fe2O3) and ZnxFe3-XO4 thin films prepared by Chemical Spray Pyrolysis (CSP) method. CSP method allows an optimal control of stoichiometry and impurity incorporation, hematite films modified with Zn2+ was also prepared. Moreover, the most attracting characteristics of the hematite are its stability in neutral and basic solutions, abundance and band gap energy (2.0–2.2 eV) which permits it to absorb approximately 40% of the incident solar spectrum on earth. Nevertheless, the performance of hematite electrodes for water oxidation is restricted by their poor charge transport properties. Hematite has low conductivity and low charge-carrier mobility. In addition, the photoexcited electron–hole pairs have short life time (~10-12 s), which makes the hole diffusion length to be also short (2–4 nm). The charge transport properties of hematite can be improved by dopping. We demonstrated to increase the conductivity of hematite by dopping it with metal cations with 2+ charges which improved the photocatalytic properties. Doping with metal cations with 2+ charges has also brought good photoelectrochemical results. So we iron oxide and Zn-doped iron oxide compounds have been investigated.
The structural, optical and magnetic properties of a-Fe2O3 and ZnxFe3-xO4 compounds have been extensively investigated. XRD, XPS, Raman, FE-SEM and AFM techniques have been used for structural analysis; Absorption technique has been used for optical properties; Hall and Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM) techniques have been used for magnetic properties.
Hematite, Zn-doped iron oxide, Photoelectrochemical (PEC), Thin film, Electronic Engineering