Surface restoration of polycrystalline Sb2Se3 thin films by conjugated molecules enabling high-performance photocathodes for photoelectrochemical water splitting

Tan, Jeiwan, Yang, Wooseok, Lee, Hyungsoo, Park, Jaemin, Kim, Kyungmin, Hutter, Oliver, Phillips, Laurie J., Shim, Sanggi, Yun, Juwon, Park, Youngsun, Lee, Jeongyoub, Major, Jonathan D. and Moon, Jooho (2021) Surface restoration of polycrystalline Sb2Se3 thin films by conjugated molecules enabling high-performance photocathodes for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 286. p. 119890. ISSN 0926-3373

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2021.119890

Abstract

Achieving both high onset potential and photocurrent in photoelectrodes is a key challenge while performing unassisted overall water splitting using tandem devices. We propose a simple interface modification strategy to maximize the performance of polycrystalline Sb2Se3 photocathodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. The para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) modification at Sb2Se3/TiO2 interface enhanced both the onset potential and photocurrent of the Sb2Se3 photocathodes. The surface defects in the polycrystalline Sb2Se3 limited the photovoltage production, lowering the onset potential of the photocathode. Surface restoration using the conjugated PABA molecules efficiently passivated the surface defects on the Sb2Se3 and enabled the rapid photoelectron transport from the Sb2Se3 to the TiO2 layer. The PABA treated Sb2Se3 photocathode exhibited substantially improved PEC performance; the onset potential increased from 0.35 to 0.50 V compared to the reversible hydrogen electrode (VRHE), and the photocurrent density increased from 24 to 35 mA cm−2 at 0 VRHE.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Onset potential, Photocurrent density, Buried junction, Defect passivation, Conjugated amino acid
Subjects: F100 Chemistry
F200 Materials Science
F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2021 14:50
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 17:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45537

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