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Stable hybrid organic/inorganic photocathodes for hydrogen evolution with amorphous WO3 hole selective contacts

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Abstract

Photoelectrochemical H2 production through hybrid organic/inorganic interfaces exploits the capability of polymeric absorbers to drive photo-induced electron transfer to an electrocatalyst in a water environment. Photoelectrode architectures based on solution-processed organic semiconductors are now emerging as low-cost alternatives to crystalline inorganic semiconductors based on Si, oxides and III–V alloys. In this work, we demonstrate that the stability of a hybrid organic/inorganic photocathode, employing a P3HT:PCBM blend as photoactive material, can be considerably improved by introducing an electrochemically stable WO3 hole selective layer, paired with a TiO2 electron selective layer. This hybrid photoelectrode exhibits a photocurrent of 2.48 mA cm−2 at 0 VRHE, +0.56 VRHE onset potential and a state-of the art operational activity of more than 10 hours. This work gives the perspective that photoelectrodes based on organic semiconductors, coupled with proper inorganic selective contacts, represent a sound new option for the efficient and durable photoelectrochemical conversion of solar energy into fuels.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Oct 2016, accepted on 20 Oct 2016, published on 20 Oct 2016 and first published online on 20 Oct 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6FD00216A
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2017, Advance Article
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    Stable hybrid organic/inorganic photocathodes for hydrogen evolution with amorphous WO3 hole selective contacts

    A. Mezzetti, F. Fumagalli, A. Alfano, D. Iadicicco, M. R. Antognazza and F. di Fonzo, Faraday Discuss., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C6FD00216A

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