Solar-driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen (H 2 ) generation is a promising approach to harvest solar energy for the production of a clean chemical fuel. However, the low photon-to-fuel conversion efficiency and long-term stability of PEC devices are major challenges to be addressed to enable large-scale commercialization. Here we report a simple, fast and cost-effective approach to fabricate high efficiency and stable PEC devices for H 2 generation, by fabricating a hybrid photoanode obtained by incorporating small amounts of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into a TiO 2 mesoporous film and sensitizing with colloidal heterostructured CdSe/(CdSe x S 1-x ) 5 /(CdS) 2 quantum dots (QDs). The latter were specially designed to accelerate the exciton separation through a band engineering approach. The PEC devices based on the TiO 2 /QD-MWCNT (T/Q-M) hybrid photoanode with an optimized amount of MWCNTs (0.015 wt%) yield a saturated photocurrent density of 15.90 mA cm -2 (at 1.0 V RHE ) under one sun illumination (AM 1.5G, 100 mW cm -2 ), which is 40% higher than that of the reference device based on TiO 2 /QD (T/Q) photoanodes. This is attributed to a synergistic effect of the promising optoelectronic properties of the colloidal heterostructured QDs and improved electron transport (reduced charge transfer resistance) within the TiO 2 -MWCNT hybrid anodes enabled by the directional path of MWCNTs for the photo-injected electrons towards FTO. Furthermore, the PEC device based on the T/Q-M hybrid photoanode is more stable (∼19% loss of its initial photocurrent density) when compared with the T/Q photoanode (∼35% loss) after two hours of continuous one sun illumination. Our results provide fundamental insights and a different approach to improve the efficiency and long-term stability of PEC devices and represent an essential step towards the commercialization of this emerging solar-to-fuel conversion technology.

A colloidal heterostructured quantum dot sensitized carbon nanotube-TiO 2 hybrid photoanode for high efficiency hydrogen generation

Rosei F.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Solar-driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen (H 2 ) generation is a promising approach to harvest solar energy for the production of a clean chemical fuel. However, the low photon-to-fuel conversion efficiency and long-term stability of PEC devices are major challenges to be addressed to enable large-scale commercialization. Here we report a simple, fast and cost-effective approach to fabricate high efficiency and stable PEC devices for H 2 generation, by fabricating a hybrid photoanode obtained by incorporating small amounts of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into a TiO 2 mesoporous film and sensitizing with colloidal heterostructured CdSe/(CdSe x S 1-x ) 5 /(CdS) 2 quantum dots (QDs). The latter were specially designed to accelerate the exciton separation through a band engineering approach. The PEC devices based on the TiO 2 /QD-MWCNT (T/Q-M) hybrid photoanode with an optimized amount of MWCNTs (0.015 wt%) yield a saturated photocurrent density of 15.90 mA cm -2 (at 1.0 V RHE ) under one sun illumination (AM 1.5G, 100 mW cm -2 ), which is 40% higher than that of the reference device based on TiO 2 /QD (T/Q) photoanodes. This is attributed to a synergistic effect of the promising optoelectronic properties of the colloidal heterostructured QDs and improved electron transport (reduced charge transfer resistance) within the TiO 2 -MWCNT hybrid anodes enabled by the directional path of MWCNTs for the photo-injected electrons towards FTO. Furthermore, the PEC device based on the T/Q-M hybrid photoanode is more stable (∼19% loss of its initial photocurrent density) when compared with the T/Q photoanode (∼35% loss) after two hours of continuous one sun illumination. Our results provide fundamental insights and a different approach to improve the efficiency and long-term stability of PEC devices and represent an essential step towards the commercialization of this emerging solar-to-fuel conversion technology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3046155
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