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Title: Silicon Nitride for Direct Water-Splitting and Corrosion Mitigation

Abstract

Todays fossil fuels are becoming harder to obtain, creating pollution problems, and posing hazards to people’s health. One alternative to fossil fuels is hydrogen, capable of serving as a clean and efficient energy carrier. Certain semiconductors are able to harness the energy of photons and direct it into water electrolysis in a process known as photoelectrochemical water splitting. Triple junction devices integrate three semiconductors of different band gaps resulting in a monolithic material that absorbs over a broader spectrum. Amorphous silicon (a-Si) is one such material that, when stacked in tandem, possesses water-splitting capabilities. Even though a-Si is capable of splitting water, it is an unstable material in solution and therefore requires a coating to protect the surface from corrosion. A stable, transparent material that has the potential for corrosion protection is silicon nitride. In this study, silicon nitride thin films were grown using DC magnetron sputtering with varying amounts of argon and nitrogen added to the system. X-ray diffraction indicated amorphous silicon nitride films. Current as a function of potential was determined from cyclic voltammetry measurements. Mott-Schottky analysis showed n-type behavior with absorption and transmission measurements indicated variation in flatband potentials. Variation in band gap values ranging from 1.90more » to 4.0 eV. Corrosion measurements reveal that the silicon nitride samples exhibit both p-type and n-type behavior. Photocurrent over a range of potentials was greater in samples that were submerged in acidic electrolyte. Silicon nitride shows good stability in acidic, neutral, and basic solutions, indicative of a good material for corrosion mitigation.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
DOESC (USDOE Office of Science (SC) (United States))
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1051816
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Undergraduate Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Head, J., and Turner, J.A. Silicon Nitride for Direct Water-Splitting and Corrosion Mitigation. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Head, J., & Turner, J.A. Silicon Nitride for Direct Water-Splitting and Corrosion Mitigation. United States.
Head, J., and Turner, J.A. Sun . "Silicon Nitride for Direct Water-Splitting and Corrosion Mitigation". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1051816.
@article{osti_1051816,
title = {Silicon Nitride for Direct Water-Splitting and Corrosion Mitigation},
author = {Head, J. and Turner, J.A.},
abstractNote = {Todays fossil fuels are becoming harder to obtain, creating pollution problems, and posing hazards to people’s health. One alternative to fossil fuels is hydrogen, capable of serving as a clean and efficient energy carrier. Certain semiconductors are able to harness the energy of photons and direct it into water electrolysis in a process known as photoelectrochemical water splitting. Triple junction devices integrate three semiconductors of different band gaps resulting in a monolithic material that absorbs over a broader spectrum. Amorphous silicon (a-Si) is one such material that, when stacked in tandem, possesses water-splitting capabilities. Even though a-Si is capable of splitting water, it is an unstable material in solution and therefore requires a coating to protect the surface from corrosion. A stable, transparent material that has the potential for corrosion protection is silicon nitride. In this study, silicon nitride thin films were grown using DC magnetron sputtering with varying amounts of argon and nitrogen added to the system. X-ray diffraction indicated amorphous silicon nitride films. Current as a function of potential was determined from cyclic voltammetry measurements. Mott-Schottky analysis showed n-type behavior with absorption and transmission measurements indicated variation in flatband potentials. Variation in band gap values ranging from 1.90 to 4.0 eV. Corrosion measurements reveal that the silicon nitride samples exhibit both p-type and n-type behavior. Photocurrent over a range of potentials was greater in samples that were submerged in acidic electrolyte. Silicon nitride shows good stability in acidic, neutral, and basic solutions, indicative of a good material for corrosion mitigation.},
doi = {},
journal = {Journal of Undergraduate Research},
number = ,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {1}
}