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High efficiency solar-to-hydrogen conversion on a monolithically integrated InGaN/GaN/Si adaptive tunnel junction photocathode.

Authors
  • Fan, Shizhao1
  • AlOtaibi, Bandar1
  • Woo, Steffi Y2
  • Wang, Yongjie1
  • Botton, Gianluigi A2
  • Mi, Zetian1
  • 1 †Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, 3480 University Street, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0E9, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 ‡Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontairo L8S 4M1, Canada. , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nano Letters
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Apr 08, 2015
Volume
15
Issue
4
Pages
2721–2726
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b00535
PMID: 25811636
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

H2 generation under sunlight offers great potential for a sustainable fuel production system. To achieve high efficiency solar-to-hydrogen conversion, multijunction photoelectrodes have been commonly employed to absorb a large portion of the solar spectrum and to provide energetic charge carriers for water splitting. However, the design and performance of such tandem devices has been fundamentally limited by the current matching between various absorbing layers. Here, by exploiting the lateral carrier extraction scheme of one-dimensional nanowire structures, we have demonstrated that a dual absorber photocathode, consisting of p-InGaN/tunnel junction/n-GaN nanowire arrays and a Si solar cell wafer, can operate efficiently without the strict current matching requirement. The monolithically integrated photocathode exhibits an applied bias photon-to-current efficiency of 8.7% at a potential of 0.33 V versus normal hydrogen electrode and nearly unity Faradaic efficiency for H2 generation. Such an adaptive multijunction architecture can surpass the design and performance restrictions of conventional tandem photoelectrodes.

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