Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 135–150 | Cite as

Effect of plasma power on the semiconducting behavior of low-frequency PECVD TiO2 and nitrogen-doped TiO2 anodic thin coatings: photo-electrochemical studies in a single compartment cell for hydrogen generation by solar water splitting

  • Loraine Youssef
  • Stéphanie RoualdèsEmail author
  • Joëlle Bassil
  • Mirvat Zakhour
  • Vincent Rouessac
  • Claude Lamy
  • Michel Nakhl
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Solar Cells


Previously optimized anatase and nitrogen-doped anatase TiO2 coatings have been grown by low-frequency plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) on different kinds of substrates at low plasma power (64 W) and high plasma power (100 W) for photo-electrochemical studies. Nitrogen-doped TiO2 layers exhibit better photoactivity and also higher electronic conductivity under UV and visible irradiations than non-doped materials. The main reason is that nitrogen introduction induces TiO2 band gap tailoring towards higher wavelengths. In addition, films prepared at low plasma power present a ‘typical photo-material’ behavior (whose activity depends directly on the presence of light) while layers synthesized at higher plasma power contain an initial conductive phase giving them an activity that exists in the dark yet and can be slightly enhanced by illumination. Such conclusions are prominent in the field of photo-anodic thin films; indeed PECVD could constitute a promising approach for tailoring the efficiency of photo-electrochemical cells for hydrogen production under solar light.

Graphical abstract


Anatase Nitrogen doping PECVD Plasma power Photo-electrochemistry Hydrogen 



This project has been funded with support from Lebanese University (UL) in collaboration with AZM&SAADÉ foundation. We also thank Arie VAN DER LEE (IEM, Montpellier) for XRR analysis, Didier COT (IEM, Montpellier) for SEM observations, and Valérie FLAUD (ICGM, Montpellier) for thin films profile investigation by XPS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loraine Youssef
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stéphanie Roualdès
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joëlle Bassil
    • 2
  • Mirvat Zakhour
    • 2
  • Vincent Rouessac
    • 1
  • Claude Lamy
    • 1
  • Michel Nakhl
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut Européen des MembranesIEM – UMR 5635, ENSCM, CNRS, Univ MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Chimie-Physique des Matériaux and Platform of Research in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, Lebanese UniversityFanar-Jdeidet el MetnLebanon

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