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Issue 3, 2016
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570 mV photovoltage, stabilized n-Si/CoOx heterojunction photoanodes fabricated using atomic layer deposition

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Abstract

Heterojunction photoanodes, consisting of n-type crystalline Si(100) substrates coated with a thin ∼50 nm film of cobalt oxide fabricated using atomic-layer deposition (ALD), exhibited photocurrent-onset potentials of −205 ± 20 mV relative to the formal potential for the oxygen-evolution reaction (OER), ideal regenerative solar-to-O2(g) conversion efficiencies of 1.42 ± 0.20%, and operated continuously for over 100 days (∼2500 h) in 1.0 M KOH(aq) under simulated solar illumination. The ALD CoOx thin film: (i) formed a heterojunction with the n-Si(100) that provided a photovoltage of 575 mV under 1 Sun of simulated solar illumination; (ii) stabilized Si photoanodes that are otherwise unstable when operated in aqueous alkaline electrolytes; and, (iii) catalyzed the oxidation of water, thereby reducing the kinetic overpotential required for the reaction and increasing the overall efficiency relative to electrodes that do not have an inherently electrocatalytic coating. The process provides a simple, effective method for enabling the use of planar n-Si(100) substrates as efficient and durable photoanodes in fully integrated, photovoltaic-biased solar fuels generators.

Graphical abstract: 570 mV photovoltage, stabilized n-Si/CoOx heterojunction photoanodes fabricated using atomic layer deposition

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Dec 2015, accepted on 08 Jan 2016 and first published on 08 Jan 2016


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE03655K
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2016,9, 892-897
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    570 mV photovoltage, stabilized n-Si/CoOx heterojunction photoanodes fabricated using atomic layer deposition

    X. Zhou, R. Liu, K. Sun, K. M. Papadantonakis, B. S. Brunschwig and N. S. Lewis, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016, 9, 892
    DOI: 10.1039/C5EE03655K

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