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Title: Hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells for simultaneous production of chemical fuels and electrical power

Abstract

Harnessing solar energy to drive photoelectrochemical reactions is widely studied for sustainable fuel production and versatile energy storage over different timescales. However, the majority of solar photoelectrochemical cells cannot drive the overall photosynthesis reactions without the assistance of an external power source. A device for simultaneous and direct production of renewable fuels and electrical power from sunlight is now proposed. This hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic device allows tunable control over the branching ratio between two high-value products of solar energy conversion, requires relatively simple modification to existing photovoltaic technologies, and circumvents the photocurrent mismatches that lead to significant loss in tandem photoelectrochemical systems comprising chemically stable photoelectrodes. Our proof-of-concept device is based on a transition metal oxide photoanode monolithically integrated onto silicon that possesses both front- and backside photovoltaic junctions. This integrated assembly drives spontaneous overall water splitting with no external power source, while also producing electricity near the maximum power point of the backside photovoltaic junction. The concept that photogenerated charge carriers can be controllably directed to produce electricity and chemical fuel provides an opportunity to significantly increase the energy return on energy invested in solar fuels systems and can be adapted to a variety of architectures assembled frommore » different materials.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Emerging Futures, LLC, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Technische Univ. München, Garching (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1542343
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1476-1122
Publisher:
Springer Nature - Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Segev, Gideon, Beeman, Jeffrey W., Greenblatt, Jeffery B., and Sharp, Ian D. Hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells for simultaneous production of chemical fuels and electrical power. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41563-018-0198-y.
Segev, Gideon, Beeman, Jeffrey W., Greenblatt, Jeffery B., & Sharp, Ian D. Hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells for simultaneous production of chemical fuels and electrical power. United States. doi:10.1038/s41563-018-0198-y.
Segev, Gideon, Beeman, Jeffrey W., Greenblatt, Jeffery B., and Sharp, Ian D. Mon . "Hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells for simultaneous production of chemical fuels and electrical power". United States. doi:10.1038/s41563-018-0198-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1542343.
@article{osti_1542343,
title = {Hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells for simultaneous production of chemical fuels and electrical power},
author = {Segev, Gideon and Beeman, Jeffrey W. and Greenblatt, Jeffery B. and Sharp, Ian D.},
abstractNote = {Harnessing solar energy to drive photoelectrochemical reactions is widely studied for sustainable fuel production and versatile energy storage over different timescales. However, the majority of solar photoelectrochemical cells cannot drive the overall photosynthesis reactions without the assistance of an external power source. A device for simultaneous and direct production of renewable fuels and electrical power from sunlight is now proposed. This hybrid photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic device allows tunable control over the branching ratio between two high-value products of solar energy conversion, requires relatively simple modification to existing photovoltaic technologies, and circumvents the photocurrent mismatches that lead to significant loss in tandem photoelectrochemical systems comprising chemically stable photoelectrodes. Our proof-of-concept device is based on a transition metal oxide photoanode monolithically integrated onto silicon that possesses both front- and backside photovoltaic junctions. This integrated assembly drives spontaneous overall water splitting with no external power source, while also producing electricity near the maximum power point of the backside photovoltaic junction. The concept that photogenerated charge carriers can be controllably directed to produce electricity and chemical fuel provides an opportunity to significantly increase the energy return on energy invested in solar fuels systems and can be adapted to a variety of architectures assembled from different materials.},
doi = {10.1038/s41563-018-0198-y},
journal = {Nature Materials},
number = 12,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Current mismatch losses and the HPEV cell. a, Current–voltage curves of an ideal 2.1 eV bandgap PEC top junction and an ideal 1.1 eV bandgap bottom junction placed behind it (solid lines), as well as a typically performing silicon photovoltaic cell and a TaN (ref. 15) PEC photoanodemore » (dashed lines) in the same configuration. The silicon solar cell current–voltage characteristics were calculated using a single diode equivalent circuit model as described in Supplementary Section 10. The operating points of the integrated devices are at the intersections of the curves (circles). The maximum power points of the silicon bottom junctions are marked with squares. b, Coupling losses in an ideal silicon bottom junction as a function of the bandgap of the top photoelectrode. c, Schematic illustration of an HPEV cell.« less

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.