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Active and Passive Electronic Components
Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 175-189

Protection of Photoanodes Against Photo-Corrosion by Surface Deposition of Oxide Films: Criteria for Choosing the Protective Coating

1Laboratoire de Chimie du Solide du CNRS, 351 cours de la Libération, Talence cedex, 33405, France
2Instituto de Catàlysis y Petroleoquimica (CSIC), Serrano, 119, Madrid 28006, Spain

Received 10 April 1988; Accepted 2 May 1988

Copyright © 1989 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Two strategies to solve the problem of instability of photoanodes against photocorrosion have been explored. The photocorrosion of photoanodes generally occurs when they enter the fabrication of efficient photoelectrochemical cells (i.e. showing high values of the open circuit voltage and photocurrent density).

One of these strategies consists of protecting the photoanode against photocorrosion by a non-conducting oxide film deposited on its surface. The oxide must have a cationic valence band, or valence energy states, falling either above, or at the same level as, the top of the valence band of the anode. The significant photocurrent observed with the n-GaAs/Sr0.98Na0.01Ce0.01TiO3 hybridelectrode structure confirms the validity of the model.

The second possibility deals with the protection of the photoanode by a conducting oxide film in which the carrier transport occurs, close to the Fermi level, via either a partially filled band or a sufficiently high density of localized states. We have illustrated this method of protection by depositing n-SrTiO3 on n-GaAs. The n-SrTiO3 films have the Fermi level pinned within the forbidden band by Ti:3d(t2g) energy states. The corresponding electrochemical cells exhibit photoconversion efficiency as high as 18% for an illumination of 5 mW/cm2.