Molecular Functionalization of Semiconductor Surfaces

Nathan Neale, Ryan Pekarek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The presence of molecules on semiconductor surfaces can have a profound impact on their properties and applications in solar energy conversion. In this chapter we discuss the methods used to effect functionalization of semiconductor surfaces with molecular dipoles and catalysts. A major focus is the energetic impacts such molecules have to the fields at the semiconductor|contact interface. These field modulations are strongly dependent on the nature of the surface-bound molecule including its dipole moment and orientation as well as the distance of the dipole from the semiconductor surface. The contacting phase also has a strong impact on the energetics, since ions in the liquid electrolytes relevant to inorganic photochemistry partially screen dipolar effects at the surface. In addition to detailed description of these fundamentals, we present the history of this field as well as state-of-the-art chemistries that leverage the preceding decades of knowledge to impart the molecular interfacial layer with dynamic properties such as light absorption and catalysis. The challenges of establishing stable molecular attachment schemes at semiconductor|electrolyte interfaces are interwoven throughout the chapter. We conclude with a prognosis and future outlook that we hope will be a useful guide to those interested in developing the next generation of molecular chemistries at photoelectrode interfaces.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Inorganic Photochemistry
EditorsD. W. Bahnemann, A. O. T. Patrocinio
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages42
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSpringer Handbooks
ISSN (Print)2522-8692
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8706

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5900-73445


  • Heterogenize
  • Molecular functionalization
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Semiconductor
  • Surface chemistry


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