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Title: Sunlight-Driven Hydrogen Formation by Membrane-Supported Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

This report describes the significant advances in the development of the polymer-supported photoelectrochemical water-splitting system that was proposed under DOE grant number DE-FG02-05ER15754. We developed Si microwire-array photoelectrodes, demonstrated control over the material and light-absorption properties of the microwire-array photoelectrodes, developed inexpensive processes for synthesizing the arrays, and doped the arrays p-type for use as photocathodes. We also developed techniques for depositing metal-nanoparticle catalysts of the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) on the wire arrays, investigated the stability and catalytic performance of the nanoparticles, and demonstrated that Ni-Mo alloys are promising earth-abundant catalysts of the HER. We also developed methods that allow reuse of the single-crystalline Si substrates used for microwire growth and methods of embedding the microwire photocathodes in plastic to enable large-scale processing and deployment of the technology. Furthermore we developed techniques for controlling the structure of WO3 films, and demonstrated that structural control can improve the quantum yield of photoanodes. Thus, by the conclusion of this project, we demonstrated significant advances in the development of all components of a sunlight-driven membrane-supported photoelectrochemical water-splitting system. This final report provides descriptions of some of the scientific accomplishments that were achieved under the support of this project and also provides references tomore » the peer-reviewed publications that resulted from this effort.« less
  1. California Institute of Technology
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Technical Report
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California Institute of Technology
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Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 08 HYDROGEN; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Solar-fuels; hydrogen; photoelectrochemistry; water-splitting; microwire photoelectrodes