Here we show that hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanostructures with a high water splitting performance can be formed on Fe-Ti alloys using the most simple thermal treatment in air and Ar. The use of the Fe-Ti alloy suppresses the formation of thick suboxide underlayers that are strongly detrimental for the photoconversion efficiency. The formed nanorod structures show an onset potential of up to 0.6-0.7 VRHE. This beneficial effect is attributed to the combination of suppression of a thick suboxide and the nature of the α-Fe2O3 nanorods after Ar annealing. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.