Soft X-Ray and Electron Spectroscopy to Determine the Electronic Structure of Materials for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production

L. Weinhardt, M. Blum, O. Fuchs, S. Pookpanratana, K. George, B. Cole, B. Marsen, N. Gaillard, E. Miller, K. S. Ahn, S. Shet, Y. Yan, M. M. Al-Jassim, J. D. Denlinger, W. Yang, M. Bär, C. Heske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations

Abstract

To optimize materials and devices for solar photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, a detailed understanding of the chemical and electronic properties, in particular at the reactive surfaces and interfaces, is needed. In this review article we will show how electron and soft X-ray spectroscopies can provide such information. We will present exemplary studies using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, soft X-ray emission spectroscopy, UV photoelectron spectroscopy, and inverse photoemission. While the first two techniques mainly give insight into the chemical properties at and near the surface, the latter two methods allow us to derive the electronic levels relevant for photoelectrochemical water splitting at the surface of the investigated material. Ultimately, the ideal experiment would be performed in situ, in which the device is studied under working conditions, i.e;, in a liquid environment and under illumination. We will give a short outlook on how this can be achieved experimentally under the strict requirements of the measurement environment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
Volume190
Issue numberPart A
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-56626

Keywords

  • Band edge positions
  • Hydrogen production
  • In situ
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • X-ray emission spectroscopy

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