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Issue 5, 2011
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Nanoporous black silicon photocathode for H2 production by photoelectrochemical water splitting

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Abstract

Nanostructured Si eliminates several critical problems with Si photocathodes and dramatically improves a photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction important to water-splitting. Our nanostructured black Si photocathodes improve the H2 production by providing (1) near-ideal anti-reflection that enables the absorption of most incident light and its conversion to photogenerated electrons and (2) extremely high surface area in direct contact with water that reduces the overpotential needed for the PEC hydrogen half-reaction. Application of these advances would significantly improve the solar H2 conversion efficiency of an ideal tandem PEC system. Finally, the nanostructured Si surface facilitates bubble evolution and therefore reduces the need for surfactants in the electrolyte.

Graphical abstract: Nanoporous black silicon photocathode for H2 production by photoelectrochemical water splitting

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Feb 2011, accepted on 10 Mar 2011 and first published on 05 Apr 2011


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01124C
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 1690-1694
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    Nanoporous black silicon photocathode for H2 production by photoelectrochemical water splitting

    J. Oh, T. G. Deutsch, H. Yuan and H. M. Branz, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 1690
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01124C

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