Authors: Johanna Engel and Harry L. Tuller (in collaboration with group of Professor Daniel Nocera)
Sponsor: Chesonis Foundation
Photoelectrochemistry presents a means to convert solar energy to chemical energy, thereby allowing clean storage of intermittent energy provided by the sun. Incident sunlight on a semiconducting electrode results in charge carriers, which in turn enable water oxidation at the electrode/electrolyte interface, while hydrogen is produced at the counter electrode as part of the complete reaction. Hydrogen stores the energy gained in its ch emical bonds. In this project, we aim to implement a novel catalyst in conjunction with a photoactive electrode to achieve high efficiency photoelectrolysis. Important aspects under consideration for this system include bandgap engineering, carrier excitation, charge collection, and interface morphologies.