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Issue 12, 2016
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Polymer-based photocathodes with a solution-processable cuprous iodide anode layer and a polyethyleneimine protective coating

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Abstract

Organic semiconductors have been proven to be suitable for efficient photovoltaic generation during the last decade but have been scarcely assessed as photoelectrochemical devices. In this work we present the fabrication and characterization of a new efficient hybrid organic/inorganic photocathode for hydrogen evolution showing both a positive onset potential (+0.702 V vs. RHE) and a maximum power point (+0.303 V vs. RHE). We demonstrate that a conventional P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction architecture enclosed between a solution-processed cuprous iodide hole selective layer and a Pt-decorated nanostructured TiO2 layer can efficiently photogenerate hydrogen under acidic conditions under simulated 1 Sun illumination. This architecture showed initial photocurrents as high as 8 mA cm−2 at 0 V vs. RHE, IPCE above 50%, 100% faradaic efficiency and an ideal ratiometric power-saved figure of merit equal to 1.21%. Finally, with the addition of a solution-processed polyethyleneimine protective coating, we improved the device stability. This work paves the way to the use of hybrid organic/inorganic photocathodes for efficient solar hydrogen generation.

Graphical abstract: Polymer-based photocathodes with a solution-processable cuprous iodide anode layer and a polyethyleneimine protective coating

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Jun 2016, accepted on 28 Jul 2016 and first published on 28 Jul 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6EE01655C
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2016,9, 3710-3723
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Polymer-based photocathodes with a solution-processable cuprous iodide anode layer and a polyethyleneimine protective coating

    H. C. Rojas, S. Bellani, F. Fumagalli, G. Tullii, S. Leonardi, M. T. Mayer, M. Schreier, M. Grätzel, G. Lanzani, F. Di Fonzo and M. R. Antognazza, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016, 9, 3710
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EE01655C

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