Employing Overlayers to Improve the Performance of Cu2BaSnS4 Thin Film based Photoelectrochemical Water Reduction Devices

Todd Deutsch, James Young, Glenn Teeter, Jie Ge, Paul Roland, Prakash Koirala, Weiwei Meng, Reese Petersen, Randy Ellingson, Robert Collins, Yanfa Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Earth-abundant copper-barium-thiostannate Cu2BaSnS4 (CBTS)-based thin films have recently been reported to exhibit the optoelectronic and defect properties suitable as absorbers for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting and the top cell of tandem photovoltaic solar cells. However, the photocurrents of CBTS-based PEC devices are still much lower than the theoretical value, partially due to ineffective charge collection at CBTS/water interface and instability of CBTS in electrolytes. Here, we report on overcoming these issues by employing overlayer engineering. We find that CdS/ZnO/TiO2 overlayers can significant-ly improve the PEC performance, achieving saturated cathodic photocurrents up to 7.8 mA cm-2 at the potential of -0.10 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) in a neutral electrolyte solution, which is much higher than the best bare CBTS film attaining a photocurrent of 4.8 mA cm-2 at the potential of -0.2 V versus RHE. Our results suggest a viable approach for improving the performance of CBTS-based PEC cells.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)916-920
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-67785

Keywords

  • absorbers
  • optoelectronics
  • overlayer engineering
  • photoelectrochemical water splitting

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