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Combinatorial processing for photoelectrochemical films: A solar route to hydrogen generation

Principal Investigator(s): 

Abstract: 

The Ehrman and Adomaitis research groups are collaborating for the purposes of developing new semiconductor materials and solar cell devices for the production of hydrogen by photoelectrochemical (PEC) decomposition of water. Our approach builds directly on the Ehrman group’s experience developing nanostructured films of doped copper oxide for PEC applications by flame synthesis techniques, and combines this with the combinatorial chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor designs pioneered in the Adomaitis research group for material property and manufacturability optimization. The unique aspects of our proposed research program are that

  1. we limit our investigations to PEC devices using materials and manufacturing processes that make economic and environmental sense,
  2. we will, for the first time, demonstrate a model-based combinatorial (CVD) for rapid development of semiconductor materials of optimal efficiency, and
  3. we expect our solar hydrogen production approach will integrate naturally into solar energy systems that enable more efficient use of the full solar spectrum.