Alternating Current Electrolysis at Semiconductor Electrodes
Semiconductor electrodes can serve as in situ rectifiers in electrochemcial cells. an n-type semiconductor, for instance, will pass cathodic currents when driven negative of the flatband potential but wil be blocking to anodic currents as long as the breakdown potential is not exceeded. an n-type silicon cathode and platinum anode were used in this study for the ac electrolysis of water (1.0M H2SO4). a 60 Hz signal of ±4.88V resulted in a peak cathodic current density of 700 mA/cm2. after a total of 900 C/cm2 of cathodic charge was passed, the hydrogen/oxygen ratio was 2.07±0.04, and the gas collected at the n-silicon electrode was 99.6 mole percent hydrogen. the n-silicon electrode maintained its rectifying characteristics at frequencies up to 60 kHz.
J. A. Switzer, "Alternating Current Electrolysis at Semiconductor Electrodes," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, vol. 136, no. 4, pp. 1009-1011, The Electrochemical Society (ECS), Jan 1989.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1149/1.2096774
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