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Silicon and tungsten oxide nanostructures for water splitting

Reyes Gil, Karla R. and Spurgeon, Joshua M. and Lewis, Nathan S. (2009) Silicon and tungsten oxide nanostructures for water splitting. In: Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology IV. Proceedings of SPIE. No.7408. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 74080S. ISBN 9780819476982.

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Inorganic semiconductors are promising materials for driving photoelectrochemical water-splitting reactions. However, there is not a single semiconductor material that can sustain the unassisted splitting of water into H_2 and O_2. Instead, we are developing a three part cell design where individual catalysts for water reduction and oxidation will be attached to the ends of a membrane. The job of splitting water is therefore divided into separate reduction and oxidation reactions, and each catalyst can be optimized independently for a single reaction. Silicon might be suitable to drive the water reduction. Inexpensive highly ordered Si wire arrays were grown on a single crystal wafer and transferred into a transparent, flexible polymer matrix. In this array, light would be absorbed along the longer axial dimension while the resulting electrons or holes would be collected along the much shorter radial dimension in a massively parallel array resembling carpet fibers on a microscale, hence the term "solar carpet". Tungsten oxide is a good candidate to drive the water oxidation. Self-organized porous tungsten oxide was successfully synthesized on the tungsten foil by anodization. This sponge-like structure absorbs light efficiently due to its high surface area; hence we called it "solar sponge".

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Spurgeon, Joshua M.0000-0002-2987-0865
Lewis, Nathan S.0000-0001-5245-0538
Additional Information:© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We acknowledge every former and current member of the Lewis group for their contribution to this work. We also acknowledge all members of the Powering the Planet Center for Chemical Innovation (CCI Solar) for their valuable contribution to this project. In addition, we acknowledge the DOE, NSF and BP plc for financial support that has made this work possible.
Group:CCI Solar Fuels
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:water splitting, silicon, tungsten oxide, solar cell, membrane, hydrogen production, semiconductor
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:7408
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180720-110313872
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Karla R. Reyes Gil, Joshua M. Spurgeon, Nathan S. Lewis, "Silicon and tungsten oxide nanostructures for water splitting", Proc. SPIE 7408, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology IV, 74080S (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.825545;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88058
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Jul 2018 20:51
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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