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Title: Editors' Choice—A Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device Evolving Hydrogen in Pure Water

Abstract

We report the development of a fully-integrated, photoelectrochemical (PEC) device coupling water oxidation to hydrogen evolution using a III-V triple-junction photovoltaic (PV) embedded in a Nafion membrane. This architecture is genuinely monolithic, with wireless catalyst integration being achieved via compression of metal sputter-coated carbon electrodes against the front and back PV contacts. The resulting MEA-type, sandwich structure minimizes the path length for proton conduction through the membrane ionomer, while simultaneously preventing PV light attenuation by the catalyst layer, a common issue for monolithic PEC structures. Simulated, solar illumination of this construct, when operating in neutral-pH water, yields a peak solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 12.6% during a four-day trial. While the wireless nature of monolithic PEC devices typically prevents the measurement of current flow and faradaic efficiencies, we circumvent this complication through the placement of an electrical shunt between the PV and the cathode catalyst layer, rerouting charge generated at the PV through a potentiostat prior to cathodic proton reduction. Using this configuration, we also show evidence of a corrosion current competing with anodic oxygen evolution under acidic conditions, highlighting the importance of quantifying product generation in monolithic devices.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1566250
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1594904
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0004993; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of the Electrochemical Society Journal Volume: 166 Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE

Citation Formats

Kistler, Tobias A., Danilovic, Nemanja, and Agbo, Peter. Editors' Choice—A Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device Evolving Hydrogen in Pure Water. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1149/2.1151913jes.
Kistler, Tobias A., Danilovic, Nemanja, & Agbo, Peter. Editors' Choice—A Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device Evolving Hydrogen in Pure Water. United States. doi:10.1149/2.1151913jes.
Kistler, Tobias A., Danilovic, Nemanja, and Agbo, Peter. Fri . "Editors' Choice—A Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device Evolving Hydrogen in Pure Water". United States. doi:10.1149/2.1151913jes.
@article{osti_1566250,
title = {Editors' Choice—A Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device Evolving Hydrogen in Pure Water},
author = {Kistler, Tobias A. and Danilovic, Nemanja and Agbo, Peter},
abstractNote = {We report the development of a fully-integrated, photoelectrochemical (PEC) device coupling water oxidation to hydrogen evolution using a III-V triple-junction photovoltaic (PV) embedded in a Nafion membrane. This architecture is genuinely monolithic, with wireless catalyst integration being achieved via compression of metal sputter-coated carbon electrodes against the front and back PV contacts. The resulting MEA-type, sandwich structure minimizes the path length for proton conduction through the membrane ionomer, while simultaneously preventing PV light attenuation by the catalyst layer, a common issue for monolithic PEC structures. Simulated, solar illumination of this construct, when operating in neutral-pH water, yields a peak solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of 12.6% during a four-day trial. While the wireless nature of monolithic PEC devices typically prevents the measurement of current flow and faradaic efficiencies, we circumvent this complication through the placement of an electrical shunt between the PV and the cathode catalyst layer, rerouting charge generated at the PV through a potentiostat prior to cathodic proton reduction. Using this configuration, we also show evidence of a corrosion current competing with anodic oxygen evolution under acidic conditions, highlighting the importance of quantifying product generation in monolithic devices.},
doi = {10.1149/2.1151913jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
number = 13,
volume = 166,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1149/2.1151913jes

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
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