Electrochemical Deposition of Conformal Semiconductor Layers in Nanoporous Oxides for Sensitized Photoelectrodes

Arthur Frank, Kai Zhu, Jae Park, Qing Wang, Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


Nanoporous photoelectrodes with photoactive semiconductors have been investigated for various energy applications such as solar cells and photoelectrochemical cells, but the deposition of the semiconducting materials on the nanoporous electrodes has been very challenging due to pore clogging or complete pore filling. Here, we propose a band alignment model that explains the morphology of the electrochemically deposited semiconductor layer on the semiconducting nanoporous oxide electrode. Briefly, the coating material with a conduction band edge higher (i.e., more negative) than that of the electrode material forms a conformal coating, which maintains the initial nanoporous structure. As a result, a conformal CdSe layer can be electrodeposited onto TiO2 nanotubes, which can be used as a photoelectrode of a sensitized solar cell. The electron dynamics studies revealed that the CdSe-sensitized TiO2 nanotube electrode exhibited faster charge transport and slower charge recombination than its dye-sensitized counterpart, which has been ascribed to the passivation of surface traps and the physically blocked back-electron transfer by the CdSe layer as well as the higher conduction band of CdSe.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)19772-19776
Number of pages5
JournalACS Omega
Issue number22
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-75595


  • band alignment
  • electrochemistry
  • nanoporous photoelectrodes
  • photoactive semiconductors


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