Photoelectrochemical Materials For Sunlight-driven Water Splitting Devices | 101307
ISSN: 2576-1463

Innovative Energy & Research
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Photoelectrochemical materials for sunlight-driven water splitting devices

Joint Event on 2nd International Conference on Renewable Energy and Resources & Energy Materials and Fuel Cell Research

Hiroshi Nishiyama

The University of Tokyo, Japan

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Innov Ener Res

DOI: 10.4172/2576-1463-C2-006

Photocatalysis or photoelectrochemistry are attractive developing fields of engineering for building free-running sunlightdriven water splitting to generate H2 and O2. We are surveying solar-spectrum-responding semiconductive materials as the candidates for the visible light absorbers in the H2+O2 harvesting devices. We have been fabricating and testing water photo-splitting devices composed of a pair of photocathode (p-type, for H2) and photoanode (n-type, for O2) both decorated with catalysts for evolving those gases. As for photocathode, we developed H2 evolving flat layered sheets based on chalcopyrite Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS, the cutoff wavelength of absorption ~ 1100 nm) and its doped versions with Zn, S, etc. The photocurrent obtained by the solar simulator (AM 1.5G) can afford more than 10% of solar hydrogen conversion efficiency. The photoanode material is the remaining problem to solve. BiVO4 (~540 nm), paired with CIGS, realized a stable operation for the stoichiometric faradaic evolution of H2 and O2, however, the maximum solar-to-H2 efficiency has been below 4 %. Obviously, we need n-type light absorbers with longer cutoff wavelength. We are also developing transition metal nitrides and oxynitrides for the sunlight absorbers. Ta3N5 (~600 nm) has been the most intensively investigated, as particles embedded on metal layers (particle transferred sheets) and flat layered thin films, both of which can serve as photoanodes. Foreign materials can be assembled as the background layer or capping layer for the Ta3N5 layer to improve the electronic properties and robustness as an electrode immersed in the electrolytic solution. We will discuss the best performance for Ta3N5 and oxynitrides as O2-evolving photoelectrodes energized by solar irradiation.

Hiroshi Nishiyama completed his Ph.D. at Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan in 2005. In 1998–2013, he was an assistant professor at the Analysis and Instrumentation Center at Nagaoka University of Technology. He is currently a principal project researcher in the R&D Laboratory of Artificial Photosynthetic Chemical Process (ARPChem) at The University of Tokyo. His research focuses on the development of high-performance photoanode electrodes and high-performance PEC systems.

E-mail: [email protected]