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An important factor in the performance of photoelectrochemical water splitting is the band edge alignment of the photoelectrodes for efficient transport and transfer of photogenerated carriers. Many studies for improving charge transfer ability between the electrode and the electrolyte have been reported, while research to improve charge transfer at the hetero interface of the photoactive semiconductor and the conducting substrate is relatively lacking. Here, we demonstrate that the water-splitting performance of an oxide heterostructured photoelectrode can be increased six-fold by inserting an atomically thin polar LaAlO3 interlayer compared with an oxide heterostructure without an insertion to modify interfacial band offsets. The electrically lowered Schottky barrier is driven by the atomically thin layer, and the charge transfer resistance between the oxides is reduced by up to 2 orders of magnitude with insertion of LaAlO3, a wide-gap (5.6 eV) insulator. We show that the critical thickness of the polar layer for enhancing the charge transfer is 3 unit cells. The dipole moment from the polar sheets of LaAlO3 introduces an internal electric field, which modifies the effective band offsets in the device. This work serves as a proof-of-concept that photoelectrochemical performance can be improved by manipulating the band offsets of the heterostructure interface, suggesting a new design strategy for heterostructured water-splitting photoelectrodes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Nano letters
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Minute cells produced during development of an OOCYTE as it undergoes MEIOSIS. A polar body contains one of the nuclei derived from the first or second meiotic CELL DIVISION. Polar bodies have practically no CYTOPLASM. They are eventually discarded by the oocyte. (from King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
A chromatography technique in which the stationary phase is composed of a non-polar substance with a polar mobile phase, in contrast to normal-phase chromatography in which the stationary phase is a polar substance with a non-polar mobile phase.
Therapeutic approach tailoring therapy for genetically defined subgroups of patients.
A highly vascularized endocrine gland consisting of two lobes joined by a thin band of tissue with one lobe on each side of the TRACHEA. It secretes THYROID HORMONES from the follicular cells and CALCITONIN from the parafollicular cells thereby regulating METABOLISM and CALCIUM level in blood, respectively.
A class of membrane lipids that have a polar head and two nonpolar tails. They are composed of one molecule of the long-chain amino alcohol sphingosine (4-sphingenine) or one of its derivatives, one molecule of a long-chain acid, a polar head alcohol and sometimes phosphoric acid in diester linkage at the polar head group. (Lehninger et al, Principles of Biochemistry, 2nd ed)