High Performance III-V Photoelectrodes for Solar Water Splitting via Synergistically Tailored Structure and Stoichiometry

Todd Deutsch, James Young, John Geisz, Daniel Friedman, Haneol Lim, Jongseung Yoon

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46 Scopus Citations


Catalytic interface of semiconductor photoelectrodes is critical for high-performance photoelectrochemical solar water splitting because of its multiple roles in light absorption, electrocatalysis, and corrosion protection. Nevertheless, simultaneously optimizing each of these processes represents a materials conundrum owing to conflicting requirements of materials attributes at the electrode surface. Here we show an approach that can circumvent these challenges by collaboratively exploiting corrosion-resistant surface stoichiometry and structurally-tailored reactive interface. Nanoporous, density-graded surface of ‘black’ gallium indium phosphide (GaInP2), when combined with ammonium-sulfide-based surface passivation, effectively reduces reflection and surface recombination of photogenerated carriers for high efficiency photocatalysis in the hydrogen evolution half-reaction, but also augments electrochemical durability with lifetime over 124 h via strongly suppressed kinetics of corrosion. Such synergistic control of stoichiometry and structure at the reactive interface provides a practical pathway to concurrently enhance efficiency and durability of semiconductor photoelectrodes without solely relying on the development of new protective materials.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number3388
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-71473


  • anti-reflection
  • devices for energy harvesting
  • III-V semiconductor
  • nanoscale materials
  • photocatalysis
  • photoelectrolysis


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