Understanding the stability of semiconducting photocathodes for solar water splitting
Semiconductor photoelectrochemistry is a powerful means for efficient conversion of solar energy to chemical fuels. Practical implementation of this promising technology has been long challenged by the instability of semiconductor/electrolyte interface. In this Opinion, using Ⅲ–Ⅴ semiconductor as an example, recent efforts to advance current understanding of the stability and failure mechanisms for semiconducting photocathodes are summarized. The effects of catalytic kinetics, surface stoichiometry and architectural integrity on both physical and operational stability of photoelectrodes are discussed synergistically. These new insights are useful for exploring and developing durable photoelectrodes of emerging light-absorbers for new applications beyond solar water splitting.
© 2023 Elsevier. This review comes from a themed issue on Electrochemical Materials and Engineering; Edited by Frederic Jaouen and Chang-Hyuck Choi. W. Yu would like to express his deep gratitude to Prof. Nate Lewis, Prof. Harry Gray, as well as many other members from the Lewis Group for a fruitful graduate school experience at Caltech. Data availability. No data were used for the research described in the article.