Chromium oxide (Cr2O3) is a beneficial metal oxide used to prevent the backward reaction in photocatalytic water splitting. The present work investigates the stability, oxidation state, and the bulk and surface electronic structure of Cr-oxide photodeposited onto P25, BaLa4Ti4O15, and Al:SrTiO3 particles as a function of the annealing process. The oxidation state of the Cr-oxide layer as deposited is found to be Cr2O3 on the surface of P25 and Al:SrTiO3 particles and Cr(OH)3 on BaLa4Ti4O15. After annealing at 600 °C, for P25 (a mixture of rutile and anatase TiO2), the Cr2O3 layer diffuses into the anatase phase but remains at the surface of the rutile phase. For BaLa4Ti4O15, Cr(OH)3 converts to Cr2O3 upon annealing and diffuses slightly into the particles. However, for Al:SrTiO3, the Cr2O3 remains stable at the surface of the particles. The diffusion here is due to the strong metal-support interaction effect. In addition, some of the Cr2O3 on the P25, BaLa4Ti4O15, and Al:SrTiO3 particles is reduced to metallic Cr after annealing. The effect of Cr2O3 formation and diffusion into the bulk on the surface and bulk band gaps is investigated with electronic spectroscopy, electron diffraction, DRS, and high-resolution imaging. The implications of the stability and diffusion of Cr2O3 for photocatalytic water splitting are discussed.
- Al-doped SrTiO
- backward reaction
- CrO layer
- photocatalytic water-splitting