Sedimentation field flow fractionation and flow field flow fractionation as tools for studying the aging effects of WO₃ colloids for photoelectrochemical uses.

Abstract

WO₃ colloidal suspensions obtained through a simple sol-gel procedure were subjected to a controlled temperature aging process whose time evolution in terms of particle mass and size distribution was followed by sedimentation field flow fractionation (SdFFF) and flow field flow fractionation (FlFFF). The experiments performed at a temperature of 60 °C showed that in a few hours the initially transparent sol of WO₃ particles, whose size was less than 25 nm, undergoes a progressive size increase allowing nanoparticles to reach a maximum equivalent spherical size of about 130 nm after 5 h. The observed shift in particle size distribution maxima (SdFFF), the broadening of the curves (FlFFF) and the SEM-TEM observations suggest a mixed mechanism of growth-aggregation of initial nanocrystals to form larger particles. The photoelectrochemical properties of thin WO₃ films obtained from the aged suspensions at regular intervals, were tested in a biased photoelectrocatalytic cell with 1M H₂SO₄ under solar simulated irradiation. The current-voltage polarization curves recorded in the potential range 0-1.8 V (vs. SCE) showed a diminution of the maximum photocurrent from 3.7 mA cm⁻² to 2.8 mA cm⁻² with aging times of 1h and 5h, respectively. This loss of performance was mainly attributed to the reduction of the electroactive surface area of the sintered particles as suggested by the satisfactory linear correlation between the integrated photocurrent and the cyclic voltammetry cathodic wave area of the W(VI)→W(V) process measured in the dark.

DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2010.11.061

Cite this paper

@article{Contado2011SedimentationFF, title={Sedimentation field flow fractionation and flow field flow fractionation as tools for studying the aging effects of WO₃ colloids for photoelectrochemical uses.}, author={Catia Contado and Roberto Argazzi}, journal={Journal of chromatography. A}, year={2011}, volume={1218 27}, pages={4179-87} }