Title

Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Presenter Information

Alan Landers

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry

Research Advisor

Switzer, Jay A., 1950-

Advisor's Department

Chemistry

Funding Source

DOE project # DE-FG02-08ER46518
Missouri S&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE) Program

Abstract

Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a promising method for providing clean, renewable energy. Silicon is a very effective light absorber; however, silicon easily oxidizes to SiO2. In this project, cobalt and a codeposit of cobalt, nickel, and iron are used to protect silicon from surface passivation. These materials provide long-term stability during photoelectrochemical water oxidation. Additionally, cobalt can be photo-oxidized to CoOOH, an effective water oxidation catalyst. The n-Si/Co/CoOOH thin film produced photocurrent of approximately 35 mA/cm2 at 0.5 V vs. Ag/AgCl and showed a photocurrent onset potential of approximately 0.08 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The codeposit of cobalt, nickel, and iron has shown improved catalytic properties with a photocurrent onset potential of approximately 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl. While characterization of these films is ongoing, the use of metal/metal oxide thin films as a protective layer to prevent silicon oxidation shows great promise for use in photoelectrochemical water splitting.

Biography

Alan is a Junior in Chemistry from Gainesville, Missouri. Alan is involved in several organizations at Missouri S&T, including Christian Campus Fellowship, Toastmasters International, and Alpha Chi Sigma. Alan has also volunteered as an Opening Week Mentor. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, Alan plans to attend graduate school to continue his studies in Chemistry.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Sciences oral presentation, First place

Location

Carver Room

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2014, 9:30 am - 10:00 am

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Apr 16th, 9:30 AM Apr 16th, 10:00 AM

Sustainable Harvesting of Solar Energy Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Carver Room

Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a promising method for providing clean, renewable energy. Silicon is a very effective light absorber; however, silicon easily oxidizes to SiO2. In this project, cobalt and a codeposit of cobalt, nickel, and iron are used to protect silicon from surface passivation. These materials provide long-term stability during photoelectrochemical water oxidation. Additionally, cobalt can be photo-oxidized to CoOOH, an effective water oxidation catalyst. The n-Si/Co/CoOOH thin film produced photocurrent of approximately 35 mA/cm2 at 0.5 V vs. Ag/AgCl and showed a photocurrent onset potential of approximately 0.08 V vs. Ag/AgCl. The codeposit of cobalt, nickel, and iron has shown improved catalytic properties with a photocurrent onset potential of approximately 0 V vs. Ag/AgCl. While characterization of these films is ongoing, the use of metal/metal oxide thin films as a protective layer to prevent silicon oxidation shows great promise for use in photoelectrochemical water splitting.