Ge doped α-Fe2O3 nanowires are synthesized through a hydrothermal procedure with GeO2 as a precursor and investigated as photoanodes for water splitting. The content of Ge in the photoanode rises with the increase of the amount of GeO2 in the precursor solution. A proper amount of Ge facilities the preferred oriented growth of the (110) plane of α-Fe2O3, while excessive Ge hinders the growth of α-Fe2O3 crystals. The doping of Ge increases the absorption efficiency and decreases the recombining rate of the photogenerated electrons and holes. Ge also improves the density and transfer rate of the charge carriers in the photoanode. Ge doped α-Fe2O3 photoanode exhibits a highest photocurrent density of 0.92 mA cm−2 at 1.23 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode under AM 1.5 G simulated sunlight, which is nearly twice of that obtained by pure α-Fe2O3 under the same condition.
- Ge doping
- Photoelectrochemical water splitting