Addressing the Stability Gap in Photoelectrochemistry: Molybdenum Disulfide Protective Catalysts for Tandem III–V Unassisted Solar Water Splitting

Micha Ben-Naim, Reuben Britto, Chase Aldridge, Rachel Mow, Myles Steiner, Adam Nielander, Laurie King, Daniel Friedman, Todd Deutsch, James Young, Thomas Jaramillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus Citations

Abstract

While photoelectrochemical (PEC) solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies have greatly improved over the past few decades, advances in PEC durability have lagged behind. Corrosion of semiconductor photoabsorbers in the aqueous conditions needed for water splitting is a major challenge that limits device stability. In addition, a precious-metal catalyst is often required to efficiently promote water splitting. Herein, we demonstrate unassisted water splitting using a nonprecious metal molybdenum disulfide nanomaterial catalytic protection layer paired with a GaInAsP/GaAs tandem device. This device was able to achieve stable unassisted water splitting for nearly 12 h, while a sibling sample with a PtRu catalyst was only stable for 2 h, highlighting the advantage of the nonprecious metal catalyst. In situ optical imaging illustrates the progression of macroscopic degradation that causes device failure. In addition, this work compares unassisted water splitting devices across the field in terms of the efficiency and stability, illustrating the need for improved stability.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2631-2640
Number of pages10
JournalACS Energy Letters
Volume5
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-76771

Keywords

  • HydroGEN
  • III-V
  • MoS2
  • photoelectrochemical
  • stability gap

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