Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Jonathan C. Mbah

Second Advisor

Jonathan Whitlow

Third Advisor

J. Clayton Baum

Fourth Advisor

Manolis Tomadakis


This thesis is a comparison study of the performance of plain tungsten oxide (WO₃) thin films and tungsten oxide thin films sensitized with zinc telluride (ZnTe) as photoelectrocatalysts. Tungsten oxide and zinc telluride are semiconductors which were prepared on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass, and subsequently studied for water splitting applications. The main method of synthesis employed was electrochemical deposition. Tungsten oxide thin films were deposited from a precursor solution of peroxotungstic acid while the zinc telluride thin films were deposited from a solution containing dissolved zinc sulfate heptahydrate, sulfuric acid and tellurium dioxide. Surface morphology, film composition and electrochemical properties were investigated using scanning electron microscopy, (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, (EIS) respectively. The sensitization of WO₃ using zinc telluride showed an improvement in the water splitting capabilities of the thin films as shown by the chronoamperometry curves.


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