Atomic layer deposited thin film metal oxides for fuel production in a solar cavity reactor

Paul Lichty, Xinhua Liang, Christopher Muhich, Brian Evanko, Carl Bingham, Alan W. Weimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Alumina thin film structures were produced by coating high surface area polymer particles via atomic layer deposition (ALD), using the polymer as a sacrificial template. Burnout of the polymer material left high surface area, high pore volume structures, with 15 nm wall thickness. Further deposition of up to 27 mol% Co and Fe was performed via ALD to produce high surface area CoFe 2O 4 particles for thermochemical water splitting. The ALD particles were thermally cycled in electrically heated lab reactors and on-sun using a concentrated solar, reflective cavity reactor. Surface area measurements of cycled ALD particles showed improved surface area retention as compared to bulk Fe 2O 3 nanopowders. Reaction rates as high as 15.2 and 9.8 μmol/s/g were observed, on-sun, for H 2O and CO 2 splitting respectively. Thermochemical cycling in a concentrated solar cavity reactor showed an order of magnitude increase in solar utilization efficiency between ALD particles and bulk Fe 2O 3 nanopowders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16888-16894
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic layer deposition
  • Concentrated solar reactor
  • Hydrogen
  • Solar thermal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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