Stabilizing inorganic photoelectrodes for efficient solar-to-chemical energy conversion

Mubeen, Syed, Lee, Joun, Singh, Nirala, Moskovits, Martin and McFarland, Eric W. (2013) Stabilizing inorganic photoelectrodes for efficient solar-to-chemical energy conversion. Energy and Environmental Science, 6 6: 1633-1639. doi:10.1039/c3ee40258d


Author Mubeen, Syed
Lee, Joun
Singh, Nirala
Moskovits, Martin
McFarland, Eric W.
Title Stabilizing inorganic photoelectrodes for efficient solar-to-chemical energy conversion
Journal name Energy and Environmental Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1754-5692
1754-5706
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1039/c3ee40258d
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 6
Issue 6
Start page 1633
End page 1639
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher R S C Publications
Language eng
Abstract An efficient, inexpensive and stable photosynthetic material system that absorbs sunlight and uses the absorbed energy to electrochemically produce chemical and fuel products including hydrogen requires photoelectrode assemblies that are stable in electrolytes. Here we report a photoelectrochemical/ photosynthetic cell based on inorganic semiconductor photoelectrodes that shows the long-term operational stability necessary for the production of solar fuels and chemicals. The cell's stability is achieved by forming an active device using an inexpensive spin casted (20 nm) transparent conducting polymer coating (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS)). PEDOT:PSS protects the photoelectrodes from photoelectrochemical corrosion and functionally serve as either a Schottky contact or as an efficient hole transport layer depending upon the choice and design of the underlying semiconductor heterostructure. Coated semiconductors were assessed both as photoelectrochemical and as freestanding, "autonomous" photosynthetic units and found to be stable for over 12 hours (for wired configuration) in corrosive electrolytes. The solar-to-chemical conversion efficiencies match or exceed devices with more expensive metal-based coatings. Furthermore, the PEDOT:PSS was found to have high electrocatalytic activity, thus no additional electrocatalyst was required. The results suggest a pathway to large scale, inexpensive, hybrid organic-inorganic solar-to-chemical energy conversion systems.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
 
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