Ta3N5 photoanodes for water splitting prepared by sputtering

Daisuke Yokoyama, Hiroshi Hashiguchi, Kazuhiko Maeda, Tsutomu Minegishi, Tsuyoshi Takata, Ryu Abe, Jun Kubota, Kazunari Domen

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Ta3N5 thin-film photoelectrodes were prepared using a reactive sputtering technique, and their properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting under visible light were investigated. The crystal phases of the films were dependent on the sputtering conditions, such as the N 2/O2 ratio of the sputtering atmosphere and the substrate temperature (Ts). Single-phase Ta3N5 films were obtained by sputtering at N2/O2 = 30 and Ts = 1013 K with post-annealing in an NH3 flow. The Ta3N 5 photoelectrodes had an anodic photoresponse in water photoelectrolysis, although the photocurrent rapidly decreased because of self-oxidation of the photoanode by photogenerated holes. However, modification of the NH3-treated Ta3N5 films with IrO 2 promoted the oxidation of water and suppressed the self-oxidation of Ta3N5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2087-2092
Number of pages6
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitride
  • Photoanode
  • Sputtering
  • Surface modification
  • Water splitting

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