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Photoelectrolysis Using Type-II Semiconductor Heterojunctions

zhpd55 添加于 2017/9/15 9:55:08  798次阅读 | 0次推荐 | 0个评论

The solar-powered production of hydrogen for use as a renewable fuel is highly desirable for the world’s future energy infrastructure. However, difficulties in achieving reasonable efficiencies, and thus cost-effectiveness, have hampered significant research progress. Here we propose the use of semiconductor nanostructures to create a type-II heterojunction at the semiconductor–water interface in a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) and theoretically investigate it as a method of increasing the maximum photovoltage such a cell can generate under illumination, with the aim of increasing the overall cell efficiency. A model for the semiconductor electrode in a PEC is created, which solves the Schrodinger, Poisson and drift–diffusion equations self-consistently. From this, it is determined that ZnO quantum dots on bulk n-InGaN with low In content x is the most desirable system, having electron-accepting and -donating states straddling the oxygen- and hydrogen-production potentials for x<0.26, though large variance in literature values for certain material parameters means large uncertainties in the model output. Accordingly, results presented here should form the basis for further experimental work, which will in turn provide input to refine and develop the model.

作 者:S. Harrison, M. Hayne
期刊名称: Scientific Reports
期卷页: Published online: 14 September 2017 第7卷 第期 Article number: 11638页
学科领域:工程材料 » 无机非金属材料 » 半导体材料
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原文链接:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11971-x
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-11971-x
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备 注: Physicists at Lancaster University are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology. Renewable hydrogen can already be produced by photoelectrolysis where solar power is used to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. But, despite significant research effort over the past four decades, fundamental problems remain before this can be adopted commercially due to inefficiency and lack of cost-effectiveness. Dr Manus Hayne from the Department of Physics said: "For research to progress, innovation in both materials development and device design is clearly needed." The Lancaster study, which formed part of the PhD research of Dr Sam Harrison, and is published in Scientific Reports, provides the basis for further experimental work into the solar production of hydrogen as a renewable fuel.
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