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Issue 43, 2017
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Photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation from water using undoped GaN with selective-area Si-implanted stripes as a photoelectrode

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Abstract

This study examines photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells with undoped GaN (u-GaN) photoelectrodes that feature selective-area Si implantation stripes for hydrogen (H2) generation using NaCl solution as the electrolyte. Selective-area Si implantation was performed on the u-GaN layer to create n+-GaN stripes with higher carrier concentration than the u-GaN area. Si-implanted n+-GaN stripes behave like metal lines, but they allow light to penetrate the Si-implanted regions, to facilitate the collection of photogenerated carriers. For a moderate area ratio of Si implantation, the typical hydrogen generation rate of u-GaN working electrodes with and without Si-implanted GaN stripes was approximately 98 μmol h−1 cm−2 and 68 μmol h−1 cm−2, respectively, when the applied potential was 1 V. These values correspond to an enhanced H2 generation rate of around 44%. The marked enhancement in the hydrogen generation rate is attributed to the fact that photogenerated electrons can be effectively collected by Si-implanted n+-GaN stripes. Microscopy showed an insignificant change in Si-implanted surfaces before and after the PEC reaction. By contrast, the u-GaN area without Si implantation exhibited significant corrosion after the PEC reaction. The findings of this study indicate that the u-GaN epitaxial layer with Si-implanted stripes can be potentially used as a robust photoelectrode to efficiently generate hydrogen.

Graphical abstract: Photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation from water using undoped GaN with selective-area Si-implanted stripes as a photoelectrode

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Aug 2017, accepted on 03 Oct 2017 and first published on 04 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07155H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 22625-22630
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    Photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation from water using undoped GaN with selective-area Si-implanted stripes as a photoelectrode

    J. Sheu, P. Liao, H. Cheng and M. Lee, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 22625
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07155H

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