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Nanowires from 'dirty' multi-crystalline Si for hydrogen generation

: Li, X.; Schweizer, S.L.; Sprafke, A.; Wehrspohn, R.B.


Kanai, Y.:
Solar hydrogen and nanotechnology VIII : 28 - 29 August 2013, San Diego
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2013 (Proceedings of SPIE 8822)
ISBN: 9780819496720
Paper 88220U, 8 S.
Conference "Solar hydrogen and nanotechnology" <8,2013, San Diego/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IWM ( IMWS) ()

Silicon nanowires are considered as a promising architecture for solar energy conversion systems. By metal assisted chemical etching of multi-crystalline upgraded metallurgical silicon (UMG-Si), large areas of silicon nanowires (SiNWs) with high quality can be produced on the mother substrates. These areas show a low reflectance comparable to black silicon. More interestingly, we find that various metal impurities inside UMG-Si are removed due to the etching through element analysis. A prototype cell was built to test the photoelectrochemical (PEC) properties of UMG-SiNWs for water splitting. The on-set potential for hydrogen evolution was much reduced, and the photocurrent density showed an increment of 35% in comparison with a 'dirty' UMG-Si wafer.