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Enhanced photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation in neutral electrolyte using non-vacuum processed CIGS photocathodes with an earth-abundant cobalt sulfide catalyst

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Abstract

This work reports the novelty of using eco-friendly and cost-effective non-vacuum Electrostatic Spray-Assisted Vapour Deposited Cu(In,Ga)SSe (CIGS) thin films as photocathodes, combined with the earth abundant cobalt sulfide (Co–S) as a catalyst to accelerate the kinetics of photogenerated electron transfer and hydrogen generation for photoelectrochemical water splitting. CdS and ZnO layers were subsequently deposited on top of the selenised CIGS films to increase the charge separation and lower the charge recombination for the photocathodes. In order to improve the lifetime and scalability of the CIGS photocathode and the other cell components, a photoelectrochemical test was conducted in a neutral electrolyte of 0.5 M Na2SO4 under simulated sunlight (AM 1.5G). Both the photocurrent densities and the onset potentials of the photocathodes were significantly improved by the electrodeposition of the low cost and earth-abundant Co–S catalyst, with a photocurrent density as high as 19.1 mA cm−2 at −0.34 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), comparable with and even higher than that of the control photocathode using rare and precious Pt as a catalyst.

Graphical abstract: Enhanced photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation in neutral electrolyte using non-vacuum processed CIGS photocathodes with an earth-abundant cobalt sulfide catalyst

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Dec 2018, accepted on 31 Jan 2019 and first published on 31 Jan 2019


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8CC09426H
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2019, Advance Article

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    Enhanced photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation in neutral electrolyte using non-vacuum processed CIGS photocathodes with an earth-abundant cobalt sulfide catalyst

    M. Wang, Y. Chang, C. Tsao, M. Fang, Y. Hsu and K. Choy, Chem. Commun., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8CC09426H

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