Open-Circuit Photovoltage and Charge Recombination at Semiconductor/Liquid Interfaces

Duli Mao, Arthur J. Frank, Kong Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus Citations


A simple, quantitative relationship between the semiconductor surface recombination velocity (Sr) and the open-circuit photovoltage (Voc) of photoelectrochemical systems was derived and verified experimentally. Experimental results obtained for the n-Si/acetone-FeCp2+/0-LiClO4 junction indicate that Voc is controlled by surface recombination. Quantitative analysis of the results using the derived expression yields values of the barrier height and Sr that compare favorably with published data. Application of the equation to other semiconductor/liquid junction cells suggests that the expression may be important in evaluating and understanding the behavior of a wide range of photoelectrochemical systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1231-1236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-452-6064


  • photoelectrochemical cells solar cells
  • photoelectrochemistry
  • semiconductor-electrolyte boundaries
  • surface photovoltage surface recombination


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