Electrical and photoelectrochemical properties of WO3/Si tandem photoelectrodes

Robert H. Coridan, Matthew Shaner, Craig Wiggenhorn, Bruce S. Brunschwig, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tungsten trioxide (WO3) has been investigated as a photoanode for water oxidation reactions in acidic aqueous conditions. Though WO 3 is not capable of performing unassisted solar-driven water splitting, WO3 can in principle be coupled with a low band gap semiconductor, such as Si, to produce a stand-alone, tandem photocathode/ photoanode p-Si/n-WO3 system for solar fuels production. Junctions between Si and WO3, with and without intervening ohmic contacts, were therefore prepared and investigated in detail. Thin films of n-WO3 that were prepared directly on p-Si and n-Si substrates exhibited an onset of photocurrent at a potential consistent with expectations based on the band-edge alignment of these two materials predicted by Andersen theory. However, n-WO3 films deposited on Si substrates exhibited much lower anodic photocurrent densities (~0.02 mA cm-2 at 1.0 V vs SCE) than identically prepared n-WO3 films that were deposited on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) substrates (0.45 mA cm-2 at 1.0 V vs SCE). Deposition of n-WO3 onto a thin layer of tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) that had been deposited on a Si substrate yielded anodic photocurrent densities that were comparable to those observed for n-WO3 films that had been deposited onto FTO-coated glass. An increased photovoltage was observed when an n-Si/ITO Schottky junction was formed in series with the n-WO3 film, relative to when the WO3 was deposited directly onto the Si. Hence, inclusion of the ITO layer allowed for tandem photoelectrochemical devices to be prepared using n-WO3 and n-Si as the light absorbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6949-6957
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Volume117
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2013

Fingerprint

ITO (semiconductors)
Photocurrents
electrical properties
photocurrents
Fluorine
Substrates
Tin oxides
tin oxides
fluorine
photoelectrochemical devices
fuel production
Photocathodes
water splitting
Tin
Water
Ohmic contacts
photovoltages
photocathodes
indium oxides
Indium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Energy(all)

Cite this

Electrical and photoelectrochemical properties of WO3/Si tandem photoelectrodes. / Coridan, Robert H.; Shaner, Matthew; Wiggenhorn, Craig; Brunschwig, Bruce S.; Lewis, Nathan S.

In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 117, No. 14, 11.04.2013, p. 6949-6957.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Coridan, Robert H. ; Shaner, Matthew ; Wiggenhorn, Craig ; Brunschwig, Bruce S. ; Lewis, Nathan S. / Electrical and photoelectrochemical properties of WO3/Si tandem photoelectrodes. In: Journal of Physical Chemistry C. 2013 ; Vol. 117, No. 14. pp. 6949-6957.
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