Titanium dioxide (TiO2) can protect photoelectrochemical (PEC) devices from corrosion, but the fabrication of high-quality TiO2 coatings providing long-term stability has remained challenging. Here, we compare the inﬂuence of Si wafer cleaning and postdeposition annealing temperature on the performance of TiO2/n+-Si photoanodes grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD) using tetrakis(dimethylamido)titanium (TDMAT) and H2O as precursors at a growth temperature of 100 °C. We show that removal of native Si oxide before ALD does not improve the TiO2 coating performance under alkaline PEC water splitting conditions if excessive postdeposition annealing is needed to induce crystallization. The as-deposited TiO2 coatings were amorphous and subject to photocorrosion. However, the TiO2 coatings were found to be stable over a time period of 10 h after heat treatment at 400 °C that induced crystallization of amorphous TiO2 into anatase TiO2. No interfacial Si oxide formed during the ALD growth, but during the heat treatment, the thickness of interfacial Si oxide increased to 1.8 nm for all of the samples. Increasing the ALD growth temperature to 150 °C enabled crystallization at 300 °C, which resulted in reduced growth of interfacial Si oxide followed by a 70 mV improvement in the photocurrent onset potential.
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