Printed Assemblies of GaAs Photoelectrodes with Decoupled Optical and Reactive Interfaces for Unassisted Solar Water Splitting

Todd Deutsch, James Young, Walter Klein, Dongseok Kang, Haneol Lim, Huandong Chen, Yuzhou Xi, Boju Gai, Jongseung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Despite their excellent photophysical properties and record-high solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency, the high cost and limited stability of III-V compound semiconductors prohibit their practical application in solar-driven photoelectrochemical water splitting. Here we present a strategy for III-V photocatalysis that can circumvent these difficulties via printed assemblies of epitaxially grown compound semiconductors. A thin film stack of GaAs-based epitaxial materials is released from the growth wafer and printed onto a non-native transparent substrate to form an integrated photocatalytic electrode for solar hydrogen generation. The heterogeneously integrated electrode configuration together with specialized epitaxial design serve to decouple the material interfaces for illumination and electrocatalysis. Subsequently, this allows independent control and optimization of light absorption, carrier transport, charge transfer, and material stability. Using this approach, we construct a series-connected wireless tandem system of GaAs photoelectrodes and demonstrate 13.1% solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of unassisted-mode water splitting.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 17043
Number of pages9
JournalNature Energy
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-66906

Keywords

  • epitaxial micro-array assemblies
  • III-V water splitting
  • photoelectrolysis

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