Final LDRD report : [report]

Coleman X. Kronawitter, Bonnie R. Antoun, Samuel S. Mao
2012 unpublished
The distinction between electricity and fuel use in analyses of global power consumption statistics highlights the critical importance of establishing efficient synthesis techniques for solar fuels-those chemicals whose bond energies are obtained through conversion processes driven by solar energy. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) processes show potential for the production of solar fuels because of their demonstrated versatility in facilitating optoelectronic and chemical conversion processes.
more » ... on processes. Tandem PEC-photovoltaic modular configurations for the generation of hydrogen from water and sunlight (solar water splitting) provide an opportunity to develop a low-cost and efficient energy conversion scheme. The critical component in devices of this type is the PEC photoelectrode, which must be optically absorptive, chemically stable, and possess the required electronic band alignment with the electrochemical scale for its charge carriers to have sufficient potential to drive the hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions. After many decades of investigation, the primary technological obstacle remains the development of photoelectrode structures capable of efficient conversion of light with visible frequencies, which is abundant in the solar spectrum. Metal oxides represent one of the few material classes that can be made photoactive and remain stable to perform the required functions.
doi:10.2172/1096505 fatcat:z6c445i4jzditadgealj5xnp3y