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High-Performance a‑Si/c-Si Heterojunction Photoelectrodes for Photoelectrochemical Oxygen and Hydrogen Evolution

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posted on 13.05.2015, 00:00 by Hsin-Ping Wang, Ke Sun, Sun Young Noh, Alireza Kargar, Meng-Lin Tsai, Ming-Yi Huang, Deli Wang, Jr-Hau He
Amorphous Si (a-Si)/crystalline Si (c-Si) heterojunction (SiHJ) can serve as highly efficient and robust photoelectrodes for solar fuel generation. Low carrier recombination in the photoelectrodes leads to high photocurrents and photovoltages. The SiHJ was designed and fabricated into both photoanode and photocathode with high oxygen and hydrogen evolution efficiency, respectively, by simply coating of a thin layer of catalytic materials. The SiHJ photoanode with sol–gel NiOx as the catalyst shows a current density of 21.48 mA/cm2 at the equilibrium water oxidation potential. The SiHJ photocathode with 2 nm sputter-coated Pt catalyst displays excellent hydrogen evolution performance with an onset potential of 0.640 V and a solar to hydrogen conversion efficiency of 13.26%, which is the highest ever reported for Si-based photocathodes.