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Monolithic Photoelectrochemical Device for Direct Water Splitting with 19% Efficiency

: Cheng, Wen-Hui; Richter, Matthias H.; May, Matthias M.; Ohlmann, Jens; Lackner, David; Dimroth, Frank; Hannappel, Thomas; Atwater, Harry A.; Lewerenz, Hans-Joachim

Postprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5350412 (411 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 9f81973a3189f4820cb810f637250603
Created on: 25.06.2019

ACS energy letters 3 (2018), No.8, pp.1795-1800
ISSN: 2380-8195
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
03SF0432A; HyCon
Hocheffiziente solare Wasserstofferzeugung mittels eines HyCon-Systems
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Efficient unassisted solar water splitting, a pathway to storable renewable energy in the form of chemical bonds, requires optimization of a photoelectrochemical device based on photovoltaic tandem heterojunctions. We report a monolithic photocathode device architecture that exhibits significantly reduced surface reflectivity, minimizing parasitic light absorption and reflection losses. A tailored multifunctional crystalline titania interphase layer acts as a corrosion protection layer, with favorable band alignment between the semiconductor conduction band and the energy level for water reduction, facilitating electron transport at the cathode–electrolyte interface. It also provides a favorable substrate for adhesion of high-activity Rh catalyst nanoparticles. Under simulated AM 1.5G irradiation, solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies of 19.3 and 18.5% are obtained in acidic and neutral electrolytes, respectively. The system reaches a value of 0.85 of the theoretical limit for photoelectrochemical water splitting for the energy gap combination employed in the tandem-junction photoelectrode structure.