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Title: Combinatorial Discovery and Optimization of the Composition, Doping and Morphology of New Oxide Semiconductors for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

The increasing need for carbon free energy has focused renewed attention on solar energy conversion. Although photovoltaic cells excel at directly converting of solar energy to electricity, they do not directly produce stored energy or fuels that account for more than 75% of current energy use. Direct photoelectrolysis of water has the advantage of converting solar energy directly to hydrogen, an ideal non-carbon and nonpolluting energy carrier, by replacing both a photovoltaic array and an electrolysis unit with one potentially inexpensive device. Unfortunately no materials are currently known to efficiently photoelectrolyze water that are, efficient, inexpensive and stable under illumination in electrolytes for many years. Nanostructured semiconducting metal oxides could potentially fulfill these requirements, making them the most promising materials for solar water photoelectrolysis, however no oxide semiconductor has yet been discovered with all the required properties. We have developed a simple, high-throughput combinatorial approach to prepare and screen many multi component metal oxides for water photoelectrolysis activity. The approach uses ink jet printing of overlapping patterns of soluble metal oxide precursors onto conductive glass substrates. Subsequent pyrolysis produces metal oxide phases that are screened for photoelectrolysis activity by measuring photocurrents produced by scanning a laser over the printed patternsmore » in aqueous electrolytes. Several promising and unexpected compositions have been identified.« less
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  1. Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States