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Advancing semiconductor–electrocatalyst systems: application of surface transformation films and nanosphere lithography

Brinkert, Katharina and Richter, Matthias H. and Akay, Ömer and Giersig, Michael and Fountaine, Katherine T. and Lewerenz, Hans-Joachim (2018) Advancing semiconductor–electrocatalyst systems: application of surface transformation films and nanosphere lithography. Faraday Discussions, 208 . pp. 523-535. ISSN 1359-6640. doi:10.1039/c8fd00003d.

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Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells offer the possibility of carbon-neutral solar fuel production through artificial photosynthesis. The pursued design involves technologically advanced III–V semiconductor absorbers coupled via an interfacial film to an electrocatalyst layer. These systems have been prepared by in situ surface transformations in electrochemical environments. High activity nanostructured electrocatalysts are required for an efficiently operating cell, optimized in their optical and electrical properties. We demonstrate that shadow nanosphere lithography (SNL) is an auspicious tool to systematically create three-dimensional electrocatalyst nanostructures on the semiconductor photoelectrode through controlling their morphology and optical properties. First results are demonstrated by means of the photoelectrochemical production of hydrogen on p-type InP photocathodes where hitherto applied photoelectrodeposition and SNL-deposited Rh electrocatalysts are compared based on their J–V and spectroscopic behavior. We show that smaller polystyrene particle masks achieve higher defect nanostructures of rhodium on the photoelectrode which leads to a higher catalytic activity and larger short circuit currents. Structural analyses including HRSEM and the analysis of the photoelectrode surface composition by using photoelectron spectroscopy support and complement the photoelectrochemical observations. The optical performance is further compared to theoretical models of the nanostructured photoelectrodes on light scattering and propagation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Brinkert, Katharina0000-0002-3593-5047
Richter, Matthias H.0000-0003-0091-2045
Fountaine, Katherine T.0000-0002-0414-8227
Lewerenz, Hans-Joachim0000-0001-8433-9471
Additional Information:© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. The article was received on 12 Jan 2018, accepted on 05 Mar 2018 and first published on 05 Mar 2018. K. B. acknowledges funding from the fellowship program of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, grant LPDS 2016-06. Furthermore, she would like to thank Prof. Harry B. Gray for his great support. Research was in part carried out at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, supported through the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award Number DE-SC0004993. M. H. R. and K. B. would like to acknowledge support from the Beckman Institute of the California Institute of Technology and the Molecular Materials Research Center. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher LeopoldinaLPDS 2016-06
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0004993
Caltech Beckman InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180524-095254711
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:86585
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 May 2018 17:12
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:40

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