The role of water in reducing WO3 film by hydrogen: Controlling the concentration of oxygen vacancies and improving the photoelectrochemical performance
Abstract H 2 O, as a product of reduced reaction by H 2 , may affect the chemical equilibrium according to the changing of the pressure ratio of H 2 O/H 2 in the system. Meanwhile, the performance may also be influenced by adsorption of H 2 O on the surface of the material. In this work, the effect of H 2 O is studied by reducing plate-like array WO 3 films under different pressure ratio of H 2 O/H 2 . It is controlled by changing the water temperature in the washing bottle through which the Ar/H 2 (80:20) gas flows. The higher water vapor pressure not only decreases the content of W 5+ but also increases the content of surface hydroxyl groups in the WO 3 films. Moreover, the excess water vapor improves the crystallinity. The WO 3 film shows hydrophobicity with adhesive property and high contact angle hysteresis after reduction, and the wettability increases with the increase of the pressure ratio of H 2 O/H 2 . Additionally, a built-in electric field may form by dissociation of the surface hydroxyl group and absorption of O − species, which promotes the charge separation, showing better photoelectrochemical (PEC) performance. Thus, water influences the coverage of chemical species on the surface of hydrogen reduced WO 3 film, which affects the wettability and PEC performance. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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