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The photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting cell, a device that uses sunlight to produce hydrogen, has garnered very much interest due to its simple structure, low fabrication cost and good performance. In these cells, a semiconductor photoelectrode is immersed in a liquid and, when illuminated, hydrogen and/or oxygen can be generated on its surface by electrolysis. Metal catalysts are often used to enhance the activity of the semiconductor, but the lifetime of the semiconductor photoelectrode is still the main bottleneck of this technology. In this manuscript we report the ageing mechanisms of silicon photoanodes coated with nickel films of different thicknesses (under the light-driven oxygen evolution reaction, OER). The n-Si photoanodes coated with 2 nm-thick, 5 nm-thick and 10 nm-thick nickel layers showed lifetimes of ∼18 h, ∼150 h and >260 h, respectively. While the 2 nm-thick sample degraded due to the …
Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication date: 
1 Jan 2016

Tingting Han, Yuanyuan Shi, Xiaoxue Song, Antonio Mio, Luca Valenti, Fei Hui, Stefania Privitera, Salvatore Lombardo, Mario Lanza

Biblio References: 
Volume: 4 Issue: 21 Pages: 8053-8060
Journal of Materials Chemistry A