The behavior of YFeO3 thin-film electrodes under illumination is investigated for the first time. YFeO3 thin films on F-doped SnO2 (FTO) electrodes were prepared by two different methods (A) deposition of nanoparticles synthesized by the so-called ionic liquid route at 1000° C followed by sintering at 400° C and (B) spin coating of a sol-gel precursor followed by a heat treatment at 640° C. Method A provides highly texture films with exquisite orthorhombic phase purity and a direct band gap transition at 2.45 eV. On the other hand, method B results in very compact and amorphous films. XPS confirmed a Fe3+ oxidation state in both films, with a surface composition ratio of 70:30 Y:Fe. Both materials exhibit cathodic photocurrent responses arising from hydrogen evolution in alkaline solutions with an onset potential of 1.05 V vs. RHE. The complex behavior of the photoresponses is rationalized in terms of recombination losses, band edge energy tails and hindered transport across the oxide thin film.
- Band tails