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Title: A graded catalytic–protective layer for an efficient and stable water-splitting photocathode

Achieving solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies above 15% is key for the commercial success of photoelectrochemical water splitting devices. While tandem cells can reach those efficiencies, increasing the catalytic activity and long-term stability remains a significant challenge. We show that annealing a bilayer of amorphous titanium dioxide (TiO x) and molybdenum sulfide (MoS x) deposited onto GaInP 2 results in a photocathode with high catalytic activity (current density of 11 mA/cm -2 at 0 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode under 1 sun illumination) and stability (retention of 80% of initial photocurrent density over a 20 h durability test) for the hydrogen evolution reaction. Microscopy and spectroscopy reveal that annealing results in a graded MoS x/MoO x/TiO 2 layer that retains much of the high catalytic activity of amorphous MoS x but with stability similar to crystalline MoS 2. These findings demonstrate the potential of utilizing a hybridized, heterogeneous surface layer as a cost-effective catalytic and protective interface for solar hydrogen production.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States). Chemistry and Nanoscience Center
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2058-7546
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; water-splitting; photocathodes; protective interface; graded MoSx/MoOx/TiO2 layer; catalytic activity
OSTI Identifier: