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Issue 12, 2013
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N-doped monolayer graphene catalyst on silicon photocathode for hydrogen production

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Abstract

Carbon-based catalysts have been attracting attention in renewable energy technologies due to the low cost and high stability, but their insufficient activity is still a challenging issue. Here, we suggest that monolayer graphene can be used as a catalyst for solar-driven hydrogen evolution reaction on Si-photocathodes, and its catalytic activity is boosted by plasma treatment in N2-ambient. The plasma treatment induces abundant defects and the incorporation of nitrogen atoms in the graphene structure, which can act as catalytic sites on graphene. The monolayer graphene containing nitrogen impurities exhibits a remarkable increase in the exchange current density and leads to a significant anodic shift of the onset of photocurrent from the Si-photocathode. Additionally, monolayer graphene shows the passivation effect that suppresses the surface oxidation of Si, thus enabling the operation of the Si-photocathode in neutral water. This study shows that graphene itself can be applied to a photoelectrochemical system as a catalyst with high activity and chemical stability.

Graphical abstract: N-doped monolayer graphene catalyst on silicon photocathode for hydrogen production

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jun 2013, accepted on 09 Sep 2013 and first published on 09 Sep 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42106F
Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 3658-3664

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    N-doped monolayer graphene catalyst on silicon photocathode for hydrogen production

    U. Sim, T. Yang, J. Moon, J. An, J. Hwang, J. Seo, J. Lee, K. Y. Kim, J. Lee, S. Han, B. H. Hong and K. T. Nam, Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 3658
    DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42106F

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