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Multifunctional Photovoltaic Window Layers for Solar-Driven Catalytic Conversion of CO2: The Case of CIGS Solar Cells

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posted on 2023-07-24, 13:33 authored by Julian Guerrero, Elisabeth Bajard, Nathanaelle Schneider, Fabienne Dumoulin, Daniel Lincot, Umit Isci, Marc Robert, Negar Naghavi
Using a fast and simple one-step electrochemical method, we developed transparent and conductive ZnO nanoporous layers encapsulating molecular catalysts, showcasing dual functionality as a window layer for thin-film solar cells and a catalytic layer for solar-to-fuel conversion. As a proof of concept, tetraammonium-substituted Co phthalocyanine (CoPcTA) was encapsulated into the window layer of high-efficiency Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cells demonstrating photoelectrochemical (PEC) reduction of CO2 into CO with a selectivity of 93% and current densities up to ca. 7 mA cm–2 at −1.7 V vs SCE under 1 sun irradiation, which corresponds to a turnover number (TON) of above 100000 and a turnover frequency (TOF) of 10 s–1 after 3 h. The simplicity and versatility of this approach make the nanoporous catalytic ZnO layer not only easily adaptable to different high-efficiency solar cells but also pave the way for flexible testing of diverse molecular catalysts for CO2 conversion into diverse, valuable fuels.

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