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Published May 2012 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Photoanodic behavior of vapor-liquid-solid–grown, lightly doped, crystalline Si microwire arrays


Arrays of n-Si microwires have to date exhibited low efficiencies when measured as photoanodes in contact with a 1-1′-dimethylferrocene (Me_2Fc^(+/0))–CH_3OH solution. Using high-purity Au or Cu catalysts, arrays of crystalline Si microwires were grown by a vapor-liquid-solid process without dopants, which produced wires with electronically active dopant concentrations of 1 × 10^(13) cm^(−3). When measured as photoanodes in contact with a Me_2Fc^(+/0)–CH_3OH solution, the lightly doped Si microwire arrays exhibited greatly increased fill factors and efficiencies as compared to n-Si microwires grown previously with a lower purity Au catalyst. In particular, the Cu-catalyzed Si microwire array photoanodes exhibited open-circuit voltages of ~0.44 V, carrier-collection efficiencies exceeding ~0.75, and an energy-conversion efficiency of 1.4% under simulated air mass 1.5 G illumination. Lightly doped Cu-catalyzed Si microwire array photoanodes have thus demonstrated performance that is comparable to that of optimally doped p-type Si microwire array photocathodes in photoelectrochemical cells.

Additional Information

© 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry. Received 15th December 2011, Accepted 14th February 2012. First published on the web 20 Feb 2012. We acknowledge BP, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Toyota, and the U.S. Department of Energy for financial support. NCS acknowledges the NSF for an American Competitiveness in Chemistry postdoctoral fellowship (CHE-1042006). The angle-resolved optical characterization work was supported by the US Department of Energy 'Light–Material Interactions in Energy Conversion' Energy Frontier Research Center Award (grant DESC0001293). We acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided for this work by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech.

Attached Files

Published - Santori2012p18191Energ_Environ_Sci.pdf

Supplemental Material - c2ee03468a.pdf


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