Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Using Strain-Balanced Multiple Quantum Well Photovoltaic Cells

Myles Steiner, Collin Barraugh, Chase Aldridge, Daniel Friedman, Todd Deutsch, James Young, Nicholas Ekins-Daukes, Isabel Barraza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations


Starting from the classical GaInP/GaAs tandem photoelectrochemical water splitting device, higher solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies can be pursued by extending photon absorption to longer wavelengths. We incorporate strain-balanced GaInAs/GaAsP quantum wells into the bottom GaAs junction, to increase the range of photon absorption. The inclusion of 1.34 eV quantum wells in the depletion region of the bottom cell extends the absorption edge to 930 nm. With a corresponding increase in the thickness of the top cell for current matching, the light-limiting photocurrent increases by >8%. The estimated solar-to-hydrogen efficiency is 13.6 ± 0.5%, and we show a pathway to further improvement. With the semiconductor device remaining on the growth substrate, this quantum well architecture may enable improved stability and durability of the photoelectrochemical electrodes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2837-2844
Number of pages8
JournalSustainable Energy and Fuels
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-73750


  • III-V
  • photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • photovoltaic cells
  • quantum well


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