CuInxGa1-xSe2 as an efficient photocathode for solar hydrogen generation
2013 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, Vol. 38, no 35, 15027-15035 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Utilizing the energy in the sun to efficiently split water into hydrogen and oxygen can have a huge beneficial impact on a future post-carbon energy system. There is still, however, some way to go before this concept will be fully competitive. At the heart of the problem is finding and designing materials that can drive the photoreaction in an efficient and stable way. In this work we demonstrate how CIGS (CuInxGa1-xSe2), can be used for photo reduction of water into hydrogen. CIGS, which is a proven good solar cell material, does not in itself have the appropriate energetics to drive the reaction to any larger extent. Here we show that by utilizing a solid state pn-junction for charge separation and a catalyst deposited on the surface, the efficiency is significantly improved and photocurrents of 6 mA/cm(2) are demonstrated for the reduction reaction in the configuration of a photo-electrochemical cell. The stability of CIGS in water under illumination turns out to be a problem. In our present set-up, we demonstrate that separation between the charge carrier generation, which takes place in the solar cell, from the catalysis, which takes place in the electrolyte leads to improved stability, while keeping the essential functions of the processes. By incorporating appropriate charge separation layers and optimizing the catalytic conditions at the surface of the electrodes, photocurrents in excess of 20 mA/cm2 are reached for the reduction half reaction, demonstrating how essentially the full potential of GIGS as an efficient absorber material can be utilized in photocatalytic reduction of water into hydrogen.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 38, no 35, 15027-15035 p.
Solar water splitting, Hydrogen production, CIGS, CuInGaSe2, PEC, Water electrolysis
Natural Sciences Engineering and Technology
Research subject Engineering Science with specialization in Electronics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214041DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.09.094ISI: 000328006500010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-214041DiVA: diva2:684078