Arrays of n-Si microwires have to date exhibited low efficiencies when measured as photoanodes in contact with a 1-1′-dimethylferrocene (Me 2Fc+/0)-CH3OH solution. Using high-purity Au or Cu catalysts, arrays of crystalline Si microwires were grown by a vapor-liquid-solid process without dopants, which produced wires with electronically active dopant concentrations of 1 × 1013 cm -3. When measured as photoanodes in contact with a Me 2Fc+/0-CH3OH solution, the lightly doped Si microwire arrays exhibited greatly increased fill factors and efficiencies as compared to n-Si microwires grown previously with a lower purity Au catalyst. In particular, the Cu-catalyzed Si microwire array photoanodes exhibited open-circuit voltages of ∼0.44 V, carrier-collection efficiencies exceeding ∼0.75, and an energy-conversion efficiency of 1.4% under simulated air mass 1.5 G illumination. Lightly doped Cu-catalyzed Si microwire array photoanodes have thus demonstrated performance that is comparable to that of optimally doped p-type Si microwire array photocathodes in photoelectrochemical cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Environmental Chemistry
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering