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Published September 2010 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Water-Splitting Photoelectrolysis Reaction Rate via Microscopic Imaging of Evolved Oxygen Bubbles


Bubble formation and growth on a water-splitting semiconductor photoelectrode under illumination with above-bandgap radiation provide a direct measurement of the gas-evolving reaction rate. Optical microscopy was used to record the bubble growth on single-crystal strontium titanate immersed in basic aqueous electrolyte and illuminated with UV light at 351/364 nm from a focused argon laser. By analyzing the bubble size as a function of time, the water-splitting reaction rate was determined for varying light intensities and was compared to photocurrent measurements. Bubble nucleation was explored on an illuminated flat surface, as well as the subsequent light scattering and electrode shielding due to the bubble. This technique allows a quantitative examination of the actual gas evolution rate during photoelectrochemical water splitting, independent of current measurements.

Additional Information

© 2010 Electrochemical Society. Submitted 13 April 2010; revised 16 June 2010; published 19 July 2010. The Applied Materials Graduate Fellowship program and the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) provided funding. California Institute of Technology assisted in meeting the publication costs of this article.

Attached Files

Published - Leenheer2010p11828J_Electrochem_Soc.pdf

Supplemental Material - JECSsupplemental.htm

Supplemental Material - bubflow.jpg

Supplemental Material - cell.jpg

Supplemental Material - fig1_video.avi

Supplemental Material - fig1_video.mov


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August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023