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Seebeck-voltage-triggered self-biased photoelectrochemical water splitting using HfOx/SiOx bi-layer protected Si photocathodes

Title
Seebeck-voltage-triggered self-biased photoelectrochemical water splitting using HfOx/SiOx bi-layer protected Si photocathodes
Author
박태주
Issue Date
2019-06
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Citation
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 9, Article no. 9132
Abstract
The use of a photoelectrochemical device is an efficient method of converting solar energy into hydrogen fuel via water splitting reactions. One of the best photoelectrode materials is Si, which absorbs a broad wavelength range of incident light and produces a high photocurrent level (similar to 44 mA.cm(-2)). However, the maximum photovoltage that can be generated in single-junction Si devices (similar to 0.75 V) is much lower than the voltage required for a water splitting reaction (˃ 1.6 V). In addition, the Si surface is electrochemically oxidized or reduced when it comes into direct contact with the aqueous electrolyte. Here, we propose the hybridization of the photoelectrochemical device with a thermoelectric device, where the Seebeck voltage generated by the thermal energy triggers the self-biased water splitting reaction without compromising the photocurrent level at 42 mA cm(-2). In this hybrid device p-Si, where the surface is protected by HfOx/SiOx bilayers, is used as a photocathode. The HfOx exhibits high corrosion resistance and protection ability, thereby ensuring stability. On applying the Seebeck voltage, the tunneling barrier of HfOx is placed at a negligible energy level in the electron transfer from Si to the electrolyte, showing charge transfer kinetics independent of the HfOx thickness. These findings serve as a proof-of-concept of the stable and high-efficiency production of hydrogen fuel by the photoelectrochemical-thermoelectric hybrid devices.
URI
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45672-4https://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/121871
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-019-45672-4
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING SCIENCES[E](공학대학) > MATERIALS SCIENCE AND CHEMICAL ENGINEERING(재료화학공학과) > Articles
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