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Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Water photolectrolysis assisted by a perovskite ferroelectric layer

Contact: MAGNAN Helene, , helene.magnan@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 94 04
Summary:
Thin epitaxial films dedicated to water photolectrolysis will be prepared by atomic oxygen plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy and characterized. We will study oxide heterojunction containing a polarized ferroelectric layer. We will study the influence of electrical polarization on the photoanode efficiency.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:01/05/2019

Full description:
Thin epitaxial films dedicated to water photolectrolysis will be prepared by atomic oxygen plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy and characterized. We will study oxide heterojunction containing a polarized ferroelectric layer. We will study the influence of electrical polarization (intensity and orientation) on the photoanode efficiency.
Solar energy has the potential to satisfy the increasing global energy demand. Semiconductors hold great promise for high-efficiency solar water splitting (water photo electrolysis). Indeed, they may be used for solar energy harvesting and/or chemical energy storage. Since the first demonstration using TiO2 as a photoanode, a large number of metal oxides were studied for this application. However, all these simple oxides present some limiting factors (such as electron - hole recombination and position of the conduction band edge below the H+/H2 redox potential) which can explain a relatively low efficiency. Recently, we have shown in our group that the efficiency of solar water splitting can be strongly improved by using a ferroelectric layer (BaTiO3) as photoanode [1].
In the present internship, we propose to prepare and study oxide heterojunctions (Fe2O3 / BaTiO3 ) grown by Atomic Oxygen plasma assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy. The introduction of the perovskite ferroelectric layer is expected to improve the photoanode efficiency of Fe2O3 thanks to a better charge transport. For all samples, we will determine the crystallographic structure by in situ RHEED and the electronic structure by in situ XPS. The photoanode efficiency as a function of the nature of heterojunction and of its crystallographic orientation. Moreover the influence of ferroelectric polarization vector (direction and strength) will be also measured.

[1] M. Rioult, S. Datta, D. Stanescu, S. Stanescu, R. Belkhou, F. Maccherozzi, H. Magnan, A. Barbier, Appl. Phys. Lett 107, 103901 (2015)
Technics/methods used during the internship:
MBE, Spectroscopy, photoelectrolysis

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