High Efficiency Solar-to-Hydrogen Conversion on a Monolithically Integrated InGaN/GaN/Si Adaptive Tunnel Junction Photocathode Academic Article uri icon

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  • H2 generation under sunlight offers great potential for a sustainable fuel production system. To achieve high efficiency solar-to-hydrogen conversion, multijunction photoelectrodes have been commonly employed to absorb a large portion of the solar spectrum and to provide energetic charge carriers for water splitting. However, the design and performance of such tandem devices has been fundamentally limited by the current matching between various absorbing layers. Here, by exploiting the lateral carrier extraction scheme of one-dimensional nanowire structures, we have demonstrated that a dual absorber photocathode, consisting of p-InGaN/tunnel junction/n-GaN nanowire arrays and a Si solar cell wafer, can operate efficiently without the strict current matching requirement. The monolithically integrated photocathode exhibits an applied bias photon-to-current efficiency of 8.7% at a potential of 0.33 V versus normal hydrogen electrode and nearly unity Faradaic efficiency for H2 generation. Such an adaptive multijunction architecture can surpass the design and performance restrictions of conventional tandem photoelectrodes.


  • Fan, Shizhao
  • AlOtaibi, Bandar
  • Woo, Steffi Y
  • Wang, Yongjie
  • Botton, Gianluigi
  • Mi, Zetian

publication date

  • April 8, 2015