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Issue 16, 2019
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A robust ALD-protected silicon-based hybrid photoelectrode for hydrogen evolution under aqueous conditions

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Abstract

Hydrogen production through direct sunlight-driven water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells (PECs) is a promising solution for energy sourcing. PECs need to fulfill three criteria: sustainability, cost-effectiveness and stability. Here we report an efficient and stable photocathode platform for H2 evolution based on Earth-abundant elements. A p-type silicon surface was protected by atomic layer deposition (ALD) with a 15 nm TiO2 layer, on top of which a 300 nm mesoporous TiO2 layer was spin-coated. The cobalt diimine–dioxime molecular catalyst was covalently grafted onto TiO2 through phosphonate anchors and an additional 0.2 nm ALD-TiO2 layer was applied for stabilization. This assembly catalyzes water reduction into H2 in phosphate buffer (pH 7) with an onset potential of +0.47 V vs. RHE. The resulting current density is −1.3 ± 0.1 mA cm−2 at 0 V vs. RHE under AM 1.5 solar irradiation, corresponding to a turnover number of 260 per hour of operation and a turnover frequency of 0.071 s−1.

Graphical abstract: A robust ALD-protected silicon-based hybrid photoelectrode for hydrogen evolution under aqueous conditions

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
09 Nov 2018
Accepted
11 Mar 2019
First published
12 Mar 2019

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 4469-4475
Article type
Edge Article

A robust ALD-protected silicon-based hybrid photoelectrode for hydrogen evolution under aqueous conditions

S. Chandrasekaran, N. Kaeffer, L. Cagnon, D. Aldakov, J. Fize, G. Nonglaton, F. Baleras, P. Mailley and V. Artero, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 4469
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC05006F

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