Development & Optimization of Materials and Processes for a Cost Effective Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production System
Description: The overall project objective was to apply high throughput experimentation and combinatorial methods together with novel syntheses to discover and optimize efficient, practical, and economically sustainable materials for photoelectrochemical production of bulk hydrogen from water. Automated electrochemical synthesis and photoelectrochemical screening systems were designed and constructed and used to study a variety of new photoelectrocatalytic materials. We evaluated photocatalytic performance in the dark and under illumination with or without applied bias in a high-throughput manner and did detailed evaluation on many materials. Significant attention was given to -Fe2O3 based semiconductor materials and thin films with different dopants were synthesized by co-electrodeposition techniques. Approximately 30 dopants including Al, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Cr, Mo, Ti, Pt, etc. were investigated. Hematite thin films doped with Al, Ti, Pt, Cr, and Mo exhibited significant improvements in efficiency for photoelectrochemical water splitting compared with undoped hematite. In several cases we collaborated with theorists who used density functional theory to help explain performance trends and suggest new materials. The best materials were investigated in detail by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), ultraviolet-visual spectroscopy (UV-Vis), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The photoelectrocatalytic performance of the thin films was evaluated and their incident photon
Date: January 17, 2011
Creator: McFarland, Eric W.
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