Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 743–750 | Cite as

Photoelectrochemical reactions of FeS2 (pyrite) with H2O and reducing agents

  • W. Jaegermann
  • H. Tributsch


The photoelectrochemical behaviour of natural and synthetic FeS2 (pyrite) has been investigated. In all cases anodic photocurrents have been observed. From photocurrent spectra an energy band gap of 0.9 eV has been determined. The reaction of photogenerated holes produced on d-states of the Fe2+ ions with water leads to the formation of SO42− as a corrosion product. This is contrary to the photoreaction of RuS2 with H2O which yields oxygen, although the crystal as well as the electronic structure of both compounds is equivalent. The differences are discussed in terms of the transition metal chemistry of iron and ruthenium, respectively. Like with other d-band semiconductors a shift of the onset of photocurrents with the redox potential of electron donors has been observed. This study is part of systematic investigations of catalytic requirements for the photoelectrolysis of water.


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Jaegermann
    • 1
  • H. Tributsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Bereich StrahlenchemieHahn-Meitner-Institut für Kernforschung Berlin GmbHBerlin 39Federal Republic of Germany

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