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Title: Highly efficient and durable III–V semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes via a transparent protection layer

Abstract

Durable performance and high efficiency in solar-driven water splitting are great challenges not yet co-achieved in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. Although photovoltaic cells made from III–V semiconductors can achieve high optical–electrical conversion efficiency, their functional integration with electrocatalysts and operational lifetime remain great challenges. Herein, an ultra-thin TiN layer was used as a diffusion barrier on a buried junction n+p-GaInP2 photocathode, to enable elevated temperatures for subsequent catalyst growth of Ni5P4 as nano-islands without damaging the GaInP2 junction. The resulting PEC half-cell showed negligible absorption loss, with saturated photocurrent density and H2 evolution equivalent to the benchmark photocathode decorated with PtRu catalysts. High corrosion-resistant Ni5P4/TiN layers showed undiminished photocathode operation over 120 h, exceeding previous benchmarks. Etching to remove electrodeposited copper, an introduced contaminant, restored full performance, demonstrating operational ruggedness. The TiN layer expands the synthesis conditions and protects against corrosion for stable operation of III–V PEC devices, while the Ni5P4 catalyst replaces costly and scarce noble metal catalysts.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States); Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States). Waksman Inst.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Program; USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Office of Sustainable Transportation. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO)
OSTI Identifier:
1606303
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1582482; OSTI ID: 1987332
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-74845
Journal ID: ISSN 2398-4902; MainId:13411;UUID:23f56b9d-90d4-e911-9c26-ac162d87dfe5;MainAdminID:1891; TRN: US2104492
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; EE0008083
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Sustainable Energy & Fuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2398-4902
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; photocathodes; transparent protection layer; water photolysis; 08 HYDROGEN; photoelectrochemical water splitting; hydrogen production; photocathode; nickel phosphide; titanium nitride

Citation Formats

Hwang, Shinjae, Young, James L., Mow, Rachel, Laursen, Anders B., Li, Mengjun, Yang, Hongbin, Batson, Philip E., Greenblatt, Martha, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel, Deutsch, Todd G., Garfunkel, Eric, and Dismukes, G. Charles. Highly efficient and durable III–V semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes via a transparent protection layer. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1039/c9se01264h.
Hwang, Shinjae, Young, James L., Mow, Rachel, Laursen, Anders B., Li, Mengjun, Yang, Hongbin, Batson, Philip E., Greenblatt, Martha, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel, Deutsch, Todd G., Garfunkel, Eric, & Dismukes, G. Charles. Highly efficient and durable III–V semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes via a transparent protection layer. United States. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9se01264h
Hwang, Shinjae, Young, James L., Mow, Rachel, Laursen, Anders B., Li, Mengjun, Yang, Hongbin, Batson, Philip E., Greenblatt, Martha, Steiner, Myles A., Friedman, Daniel, Deutsch, Todd G., Garfunkel, Eric, and Dismukes, G. Charles. Fri . "Highly efficient and durable III–V semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes via a transparent protection layer". United States. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9se01264h. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1606303.
@article{osti_1606303,
title = {Highly efficient and durable III–V semiconductor-catalyst photocathodes via a transparent protection layer},
author = {Hwang, Shinjae and Young, James L. and Mow, Rachel and Laursen, Anders B. and Li, Mengjun and Yang, Hongbin and Batson, Philip E. and Greenblatt, Martha and Steiner, Myles A. and Friedman, Daniel and Deutsch, Todd G. and Garfunkel, Eric and Dismukes, G. Charles},
abstractNote = {Durable performance and high efficiency in solar-driven water splitting are great challenges not yet co-achieved in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. Although photovoltaic cells made from III–V semiconductors can achieve high optical–electrical conversion efficiency, their functional integration with electrocatalysts and operational lifetime remain great challenges. Herein, an ultra-thin TiN layer was used as a diffusion barrier on a buried junction n+p-GaInP2 photocathode, to enable elevated temperatures for subsequent catalyst growth of Ni5P4 as nano-islands without damaging the GaInP2 junction. The resulting PEC half-cell showed negligible absorption loss, with saturated photocurrent density and H2 evolution equivalent to the benchmark photocathode decorated with PtRu catalysts. High corrosion-resistant Ni5P4/TiN layers showed undiminished photocathode operation over 120 h, exceeding previous benchmarks. Etching to remove electrodeposited copper, an introduced contaminant, restored full performance, demonstrating operational ruggedness. The TiN layer expands the synthesis conditions and protects against corrosion for stable operation of III–V PEC devices, while the Ni5P4 catalyst replaces costly and scarce noble metal catalysts.},
doi = {10.1039/c9se01264h},
journal = {Sustainable Energy & Fuels},
number = 3,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {1}
}

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