Hydrogen Evolution with Minimal Parasitic Light Absorption by Dense Co-P Catalyst Films on Structured p-Si Photocathodes

Paul A. Kempler, Miguel A. Gonzalez, Kimberly M. Papadantonakis, Nathan S Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Planar and three-dimensionally structured p-Si devices, consisting of an electrodeposited Co-P catalyst on arrays of Si microwires or Si micropyramids, were used as photocathodes for solar-driven hydrogen evolution in 0.50 M H2SO4(aq) to assess the effects of electrode structuring on parasitic absorption by the catalyst. Without the use of an emitter layer, p-Si/Co-P microwire arrays produced a photocurrent density of -10 mA cm-2 at potentials that were 130 mV more positive than those of optimized planar p-Si/Co-P devices. Champion p-Si/Co-P microwire array devices exhibited ideal regenerative cell solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies of >2.5% and were primarily limited by the photovoltage of the p-Si/Co-P junction. The vertical sidewalls of the Si microwire photoelectrodes thus minimized effects due to parasitic absorption at high loadings of catalyst for device structures with or without emitters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-617
Number of pages6
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 9 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry

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