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Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production on silicon microwire arrays overlaid with ultrathin titanium nitride

Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production on silicon microwire arrays overlaid with ultrathin titanium nitride
Choi, Sung KyuChae, Weon-SikSong, BokyungCho, Chang-HeeChoi, JinaHan, Dong SukChoi, WonyongPark, Hyunwoong
DGIST Authors
Cho, Chang-Hee
Issued Date
Article Type
Atomic Layer DepositionCARBON-DIOXIDECharge TransferElectrocatalysisElectrocatalystsElectrodesEVOLUTION REACTIONFinite Difference Time Domain MethodFinite Difference Time Domain SimulationsHeterojunctionsHydrogen Evolution ReactionsHydrogen ProductionLong-Wavelength PhotonsLow Temperature PlasmasNitridesPERFORMANCEPHOTOANODESPHOTOCATHODESPhotoelectrochemical Hydrogen ProductionPhotogenerated Charge CarriersReversible Hydrogen ElectrodesSemiconductor Quantum WellsSiliconSOLAR-CELLSTemPERATURETime-Resolved PhotoluminescenceTime Domain AnalysisTiO2TitaniumTitanium CompoundsTitanium NitrideWATER OXIDATIONWire
p-Si wire arrays overlaid with an ultrathin titanium nitride (TiN) film are developed and demonstrated to be an efficient and robust photocathode for hydrogen production. Arrays of vertically aligned 20 μm long p-Si microwires of varying diameters (1.6-14.6 μm) are fabricated via a photolithographic technique, and then the wires are coated with a TiN nanolayer 2-20 nm thick by low-temperature plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition. The optimized heterojunction consisting of 1.6 μm-thick wires covered by 10 nm thick TiN exhibits significantly improved performance for hydrogen evolution reaction under simulated sunlight (AM 1.5G, 100 mW cm-2). It displays a photocurrent onset potential of ∼+0.4 V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), and a faradaic efficiency of nearly 100% at 0 V vs. RHE over 20 h of reaction. Time-resolved photoluminescence decay reveals that the lifetime (τ) of the photogenerated charge carriers in the optimized wire/TiN heterojunction is ∼60% shorter than those using thicker wires, suggesting significantly faster charge transfer. Such remarkable performance is attributed to enhanced transfer of the minority carriers in the radial direction of the wires. TiN performs the triple roles of antireflection, protection of the Si surface, and electrocatalysis of hydrogen production. Finite-difference time-domain simulation reveals a significant increase in the absorptance of wire arrays with TiN film, and that long wavelength photons are more effectively absorbed by the wire/TiN arrays. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Related Researcher
  • 조창희 Cho, Chang-Hee 화학물리학과
  • Research Interests Semiconductor; Nanophotonics; Light-Matter Interaction
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Department of Physics and Chemistry Future Semiconductor Nanophotonics Laboratory 1. Journal Articles


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