Earth-abundant catalysts for the hydrogen-evolution reaction require increased mass loadings, relative to Pt films, to achieve comparable activity and stability in acidic electrolytes. We report herein that spontaneous nanostructuring of opaque, electrodeposited CoP films, 40-120 nm in thickness, leads to transparent electrocatalyst films that exhibit up to 90% optical transmission in the visible spectrum. The photocurrent density under simulated sunlight at a representative n+p-Si(100)/CoP photocathode increases by 200% after exposure to 0.50 M H2SO4(aq) and remains stable for 12 h of continuous operation. Atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy of the film before and after exposure to 0.50 M H2SO4(aq) validate an optical model for transparent CoP films as probed with spectroscopic ellipsometry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry