Photocatalysts based on metal oxide semiconductors such as TiO2, Fe2O3 or WO3 have received sizeable attention as potential photoanode materials for photoelectrochemical water splitting (PEC) and as catalysts for the photodegradation of organic pollutants. Nanostructured oxide semiconductors are promising photocatalysts due to their distinctive properties offering several advantages over their bulk counterparts such as short diffusion lengths of charge carriers, high reflectivity and rich defect and structural chemistries.
Single-source precursors to rare earth metal pyrochlores, LnIIIMII(OtBu)5Py (LnIII = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Er, Yb; MII = Ge, Sn, Pb; Py = pyridine), were synthesized by equimolar reaction of in-situ produced individual metal alkoxides. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analyses confirmed the structural motifs based on 1:1 metal stoichiometry, which was preserved in the Nd2Sn2O7 pyrochlore thin films obtained by spin-coating. [Nd2Sn2(OiPr)14(HOiPr)2] sols with different solvent was used for spin coating and effect of solvent was investigated. Phase-selective synthesis and formation of pyrochlore structure was confirmed by powder X-ray diffraction and transition electron microscopy analyses. In order to investigate the photoelectrochemical properties of single layer Nd2Sn2O7 and hetero-structured Fe2O3//Nd2Sn2O7 layers were characterized. The obtained results were compared with single layer pristine Fe2O3 which was obtained by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The results showed that, multilayering of Fe2O3//Nd2Sn2O7 layers has enhanced the photocurrent density of layer 3 folds to compare the single layers.